UN peacekeepers in the eastern DRC have stepped up patrols in North Kivu province where citizens are protesting the killing of a high-ranking Congolese military official a spokesperson confirmed.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General Martin Kobler issued a statement condemning the assassination of Colonel Mamadou Moustapha Ndala of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC).
Kobler, who also heads the UN Mission in the DRC known by its French acronym MONUSCO, had met Colonel Ndala many times, calling him a “dynamic and courageous” military leader. He noted his contribution to the country’s peace and security, and stressed the Organisation’s resolve to supporting Congolese nationals.
“This act will in no way halt or slow the firm determination of MONUSCO to fight against negative forces wherever they are and whatever their motivations,” Kobler said from Kinshasa.
The Colonel and three other soldiers died when his vehicle was ambushed by armed gunmen.
The Mission reported it has additional troops in the nearby areas of Beni and Lubero, in North Kivu province, where residents are demonstrating against the killing, according to a UN spokesperson in New York.
In recent weeks, UN peacekeepers in that part of the country helped national armed forces retake control of a town following an attack by a Ugandan rebel group, the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-Nalu), which left dozens dead and displaced many more.
In accordance with its Security Council mandate to protect civilians, MONUSCO supported FARDC during the operation against the rebel group, including through the use of its attack helicopters, the provision of logistical support and medical evacuations.
While no confirmation has been received from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) reports from the DRC indicate at least two South African Rooivalk helicopters were deployed in operations against the Ugandan rebel group.