Indian peacekeepers, as well as Blue Helmets from other countries, have repelled an attack by an armed group in Congo, a top UN official said, praising the peacekeepers’ efforts and “active role” in countering these attacks on civilians.
India is the second-highest military (1,888) and the fifth-highest (139) police-contributing country to the United Nations Stability Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). India is one of the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions.
The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned the May 22 attack by the Mouvement du 23 mars (M23) (MONUSCO) and the forces Armis de la Republican Democratic du Congo (FARDC) in the Shangi area of North Kivu.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said in response to a question from the Press Trust of India about attacks on UN missions and peacekeepers in India and other countries that the M23 armed group was active in the last couple. Weeks in an area of eastern Congo.
“Indian peacekeepers are involved with others from many other countries,” he said, referring to the group’s response and “we appreciate it.” Lacroix says MONUSCO is playing a “very active role” in countering the M23 attack.
“This is in line with our vision of an active peacekeeping force, which works decisively to protect its mandate, especially the civilian mandate, because the activities of the armed group have a great impact on the civilian population,” he said.
The United Nations is closely monitoring the situation, Lacroix said.
“We are also very grateful” for the fact that in those specific areas of the Eastern DRC, as well as in other areas where the armed group Co-operative Por le Development du Congo (Kodeco) is active, Manusco is “responding” in a way that has activated and resulted in civilian casualties. Protecting civilians, saving lives and repelling attacks by these armed groups, “he said.
The Security Council emphasized the importance of MONUSCO’s ability to meet and promote its mandate, including taking appropriate measures for the security and safety of UN peacekeepers and its activities in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.
Council members stressed that the primary responsibility for the safety and security of UN staff and assets rests with the host states and highlighted the importance of engagement and communication between MONUSCO and the Congolese government.
The Security Council reiterated its strong condemnation of all attacks and provocations against Manusko. Council members stressed that intentional attacks targeting peacekeepers could be a war crime under international law.
They called on the Congolese authorities to expedite such investigations and bring the perpetrators to justice, and to inform the military-contributing countries concerned of the progress.
Security Council members have expressed concern about the growing presence of armed groups in the eastern Congolese provinces. They reiterated their condemnation of all armed groups operating in the country, including the M23, CODECO, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the Forces Democratic De Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) and several other local and foreign armed groups.
They called on all actors to stop violence and their violations and abuses of international human rights and international humanitarian law.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the signing of the peace, security and cooperation framework by all armed groups operating in East Congo.
They called on all armed groups operating in the eastern Congo to participate unconditionally in the political process initiated by the Conclave of Regional Heads of State in Congo, Nairobi, Kenya, and to disarm, disarmament, and disarmament. Recovery and Stabilization Program (PDDRC-S).
Members of the Security Council have expressed concern over the current humanitarian situation in eastern Congo, which has been marked by a significant increase in the number of people in need of protection and humanitarian assistance.
They called on the partners to address the underlying drivers of the current humanitarian situation in the Congo and to increase their support for the country in tackling this challenge.
The Security Council requested that in addition to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s ongoing inspections in the Congo, that it monitor FARDC’s efforts to address the threat posed by armed groups in the Congo.
They reiterated their full support for MONUSCO’s steady action and expressed their deep gratitude to MONUSCO’s military and police-contributing countries.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)