UN chief reports significant results against rebels in DRC

2018-11-17 13:47
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A joint military operation by UN and Congolese troops to rout rebel forces from their strongholds in the Ebola-hit northeast Democratic Republic of Congo has "achieved quite significant results" and is still under way, the UN peacekeeping chief said on Friday.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix clarified at a news conference that seven UN peacekeepers - six from Malawi and one Tanzanian - were killed in attacks and exchanges of fire on Wednesday with Allied Democratic Forces rebels along with 12 Congolese soldiers. The Security Council said late on Thursday that eight peacekeepers were killed.

Lacroix said the UN and Congolese troops faced two separate attacks by ADF fighters near the regional capital, Beni, which is the largest city affected by the current Ebola outbreak and the centre of efforts to fight it.

"They returned fire. They repelled the first attack successfully," he said. "But then the armed group reorganised and in the second attack, unfortunately our peacekeepers appear to have been killed and injured."

Lacroix said UN and Congolese forces captured an ADF base that was used to attack and threaten Beni.

The UN envoy for DRC, Leila Zerrougui, said six ADF combatants were arrested.

She said the UN and the Congolese army decided to launch the operation near Beni, where ADF and Mai-Mai rebel groups are especially active, to secure the area to allow medical and humanitarian teams to fight the Ebola outbreak. Attacks against military forces and civilians are complicating the response by health officials who are also meeting community resistance.

DRC's health ministry said last week that the Ebola outbreak is the worst in the country's recorded history with 319 confirmed and probable cases. There have been about 200 deaths since the outbreak was declared August 1 in the volatile east.

Eastern DRC, a mineral rich region, is home to many armed groups vying for control.

Health Minister Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga said last week that "no other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are currently experiencing."

He said response teams "have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment, and kidnapping" and two members lost their lives in an attack.

The ADF originated in Uganda as a rebel movement against that country's government and carried out deadly bombings in the 1990s. A military campaign there forced them to relocate to eastern DRC.

Zerrougui estimated the ADF had about 500 fighters who have integrated in the area, married Congolese and engaged in illegal mining.

"They consider this is their land and it was given to them" by DRC's late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, she said. Mobutu ruled for more than 30 years and was overthrown in 1997.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    un  |  drc  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.