Guterres condemns attacks on displaced Congolese


UN Secretary-General António Guterres wants Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) authorities to investigate recent deadly insurgent attacks in eastern provinces of the central African country.

His call follows the deaths of at least 55 people and others wounded in the overnight assaults earlier this week. The attacks reportedly targeted camps housing internally displaced people IDPs) near Boga in Irumu territory, in Ituri and Tchabi in North Kivu.

Suspected members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group were apparently responsible.

A Quick Reaction Force from the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) was deployed and peacekeepers assisted the wounded as well as undertaking medical evacuations.

The UN chief strongly condemned the attacks, according to a statement from the world body

“The Secretary-General expresses condolences to families of the victims and wishes a swift recovery to the injured”, it said.

“He calls on Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and bring those responsible to justice.”

The Secretary-General said the UN would continue its support to the Congolese government and people to achieve peace and stability in the restive east.

Two villages attacked are on the Ituri /North Kivu border where the ADF are known to be active, according to media reports. Congolese forces have fought the group for decades.

The top UN humanitarian official in DRC, David McLachlan-Karr, said houses were set alight and civilians abducted in addition to the deaths.

He said this “tragic situation” came in the wake of a looting incident at a facility belonging to a humanitarian partner in Djugu territory in Ituri causing temporary suspension of operations.

“These attacks are unacceptable,” McLachlan-Karr said.

“Parties to the conflict must protect civilian populations and these crimes must not go unpunished. Communities, already vulnerable, must be able to live in peace wherever they are and return home safely.”