UN Security Council slams M23 attack in DR Congo

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An M23 attack on MONUSCO and FARDC forces in DR Congo’s North Kivu province has been “strongly condemned” by the United Nations (UN) Security Council (SC).

The May 22 attack in the Shangi vicinity was described as a deliberate attack targeting peacekeepers which may constitute a war crime under international law.  The SC called on Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate all attacks, bring perpetrators to justice and keep the relevant troop-contributing country informed of progress.

Concern was expressed at the increase of armed group activity in eastern DRC. The world body’s top council reiterated its condemnation of all armed groups operating in DRC, including  M23, Coopérative pour le développement du Congo (CODECO), Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and other domestic and foreign armed groups. An appeal was made to all involved to end violence, violations and abuse of international human rights and international humanitarian law.

The SC in a statement welcomed the commitment of signatories to the peace, security and co-operation framework to address the threat posed by all armed groups operating in eastern DRC. The members call on all armed groups to participate unconditionally in the political process initiated by the Regional Heads of State Conclave on the DRC in Nairobi and on eligible armed groups to lay down weapons through the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Community Recovery and Stabilisation Programme (PDDRC-S).

The Security Council stressed the importance of MONUSCO having the necessary capacities to fulfil its mandate and promote, including by taking additional measures as appropriate, safety and security of UN peacekeepers and their operations.