Heinous attack in DRC: 15 peacekeepers killed and more than 50 wounded

Since 2010, the peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO has recorded 93 deaths of military, police and civilians Since 2010, the peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO has recorded 93 deaths of military, police and civilians Michael Kappeler/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

27 December 2017
Dramatic victims' rate during an armed group attack in East DRC. UN condemns the episode and claims for justice.

On 7 December 2017, 15 peacekeepers and at least five Congolese soldiers have been killed, and more than 50 people were injured during an assault on the United Nations (UN) base in North Kivu province, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The UN attributed the assault to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militant group whose  origins are in neighbouring Uganda and is known to be extremely brutal.  In spite of the fact that the ADF are mostly Muslim, UN said the group is not thought to have any significant links to other Islamist extremist organisations in Africa or in the Middle East. Rather, according to some recent reports, its members have economic interests and prey on the mining industry in the region through extortion and bloody attacks. UN forces and national Congolese troops have mounted operations against them to protect civilians and according to UN "We are disturbing them, and they do not like it".

Established in 2010, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission for the DRC, known as MONUSCO, is the largest and most expensive in the world and is aimed at stabilizing fights between armed groups in the vast, mineral-rich central African nation. In spite of that, DRC is currently facing a grave humanitarian and economic crisis connect to the political instability in the country. President Kabila refuses to step down beyond the end of its mandate and this situation has led to a breakdown in law and order. The growth of ADF is part of this broader pattern, experts said.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN under-secretary general for peacekeeping operations, wrote on Twitter that he was "outraged" by the attack. The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, described it as the worst in the UN's recent history, saying it constituted "a war crime". Moreover, he asked DRC authorities to bring perpetrators to justice. Maman Sidikou, the special representative of the UN secretary general in DRC, promised  MONUSCO will take all actions to achieve that aim.


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