6 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, has “strongly” condemned this Sunday the attack against a helicopter of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in the east of the country in which a ‘blue helmet’ has died ‘ and another has been injured.
Guterres, who has confirmed that the fatality is a South African national, as the Congolese media pointed out, has expressed “his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased ‘blue helmet’, to the Government and to the South African people”.
He also recalled, along the same lines as the UN peacekeeping mission, that attacks against blue helmets “may constitute a war crime under international law.”
Guterres’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, has stated that the secretary general has made an “appeal to the Congolese authorities to investigate this heinous attack and quickly bring those responsible to justice,” according to a statement.
On the other hand, he wanted to reaffirm support for the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo “in its efforts to achieve peace and stability in the east of the country”, while he has not reported who is responsible for the attack or what weapon was has used.
MONUSCO reported hours before that a helicopter had been attacked after leaving the city of Beni, in the northeastern province of North Kivu, the epicenter of the armed violence that is plaguing the African country.
This attack took place a few hours after the end of the extraordinary summit held by the heads of state of East Africa in Burkina Faso, in which they declared their intention to reinforce the peace process in North Kivu, the scene for months of bloody fighting between the Congolese Army and the rebel group of the March 23 Movement.
The meeting resulted in the commitment to create new working instruments to guarantee the definitive cessation of hostilities that have pitted the Congolese government against neighboring Rwanda, accused of providing support to the M23 that the Kigali government has categorically rejected, while more than half a million people have been forced to leave their homes by violence.