UN slams killing of peacekeepers

2010-08-19 11:37
New York - The Security Council joined UN chief Ban Ki-moon Wednesday in urging swift justice for the killers of three Indian UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The secretary-general condemns the assault and calls on the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to launch an immediate investigation into this incident and ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice," a United Nations statement said.

The three Indian peacekeepers assigned to the UN Stabilisation mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) were hacked to death in their camp in Kirumba, in the country's east, the Indian and Congolese armies said.

In its own statement, the 15-member Security Council "condemned in the strongest terms" the attack that left at least six other UN military personnel injured, three of them critically.

UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told a press briefing here that 55 to 65 unidentified people armed with machetes and spears were involved in the overnight raid in which two weapons were stolen.

The motives for the assault are unclear, he added.

The Indian military and local officials, meanwhile, blamed the Mai-Mai, a Congolese tribal militia, for the assault in Kirumba, capital of the volatile Nord-Kivu province.

Eastern DRC has been wracked by instability for more than a decade due to the presence of several armed groups who routinely carry out looting, rapes and murders.

Monusco, earlier known by its French acronym Monuc, has been present in DRC since late 1999 and its new mandate to consolidate peace runs until June 30 next year.

- SAPA
Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon  |  drc  |  central africa
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