Newscast Media KINSHASA—The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of
Congo says it will not allow a resurgence of the March 23 rebel group.
The UN Special Representative in Congo told the UN Security Council on Monday that
there are “credible reports that the military recruitment of the M23 did not cease”
after a peace agreement between the M23 and the Congolese government, which
was signed in Kenya in December 2013.
“There are also credible reports of emerging M23 activities in Ituri in northeastern
Congo,” Martin Kobler said.
He stated that the M23 must not be allowed to reemerge as a military
force in mineral-rich eastern Congo. “We should tolerate no military
reemergence of the M23.”
The M23 rebels, who defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over
alleged mistreatment, laid down their arms in November last year after their military
On November 5, 2013, the Congolese government claimed “total victory” over the M23
after capturing the group’s remaining hilltop positions north of the eastern city of
Goma with the assistance of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
Kobler went on to say there can be “no roll back on what has been achieved so far”
and called on “the governments of Uganda and Rwanda to do everything possible to
prevent M23 elements from sheltering or training troops on their territory.”
Kinshasa and the UN have said that the M23 rebels were trained in Rwanda and
Uganda, which both countries deny.
The eastern Congo has experienced interminable cycles of violence since 1998.
The war in the Congo has dragged on for over a decade and left over 5.5 million
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media KINSHASA—The United Nations has placed its troops in the conflict-ridden Democratic Republic of Congo on alert following several coordinated attacks by armed assailants in the capital, Kinshasa, and two other cities.
“The UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, has taken measures to ensure the safety and security of its staff and placed troops in these locations on alert,” AFP quoted UN spokesman Martin Niersky as saying on Monday.
Congo’s government spokesman Lambert Mende said the army repulsed the attacks by the assailants on the state television station, the airport and the main military base in Kinshasa.
Mende also said that shooting had broken out in Lubumbashi, the country’s second-largest city located in south eastern Congo.
“These are terrorists, you can’t call them anything else,” he said. Clashes also erupted in the eastern town of Kindu. Mende said more than 70 attackers had been killed, 52 of them in Kinshasa, adding that three government soldiers also died in Monday’s fighting.
A UN staff member was also wounded during the exchange of fire at the Kinshasa airport. Defense Minister Alexandre Luba Ntambo told journalists the situation was now “totally under control” and an investigation was under way.
Meanwhile, it appears that the peace agreement that was signed earlier this month in Nairobi, Kenya is not being honored due to the continued attacks by the rebels. In a statement issued last week, the UN mission MONUSCO said its helicopters raided the Ugandan rebels ADF-NALU on Wednesday and regained control of the positions seized by rebels, who were linked to the killing of 40 or so civilians in the village of Kamango bordering Uganda, according to Xinhua news.
At least 10 rebels were killed and several peacekeepers injured in the fighting, according to the statement.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media KINSHASA—On Tuesday, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) published a statement saying the
rebels around the eastern city of Goma should either disarm or face “the use of
MONUSCO gave the M23 rebels around Goma until 4:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Thursday
“to hand in their weapon to a MONUSCO base,” or the peacekeeping mission would
use its new mandate against them for the first time.
The statement said after the deadline the rebels would be “considered an
imminent threat of physical violence to civilians and MONUSCO will take all
necessary measures to disarm them, including by the use of force in
accordance with its mandate and rules of engagement.”
The mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO, was
recently renewed by the UN Security Council. The new mandate allows the creation
of a special unit, called the Force Intervention Brigade, to carry out targeted
offensive operations against armed groups rather than merely protecting civilians.
The M23 rebels seized Goma on November 20, 2012 after UN peacekeepers gave up
the battle for the frontier city of one million people. M23 fighters withdrew from the
city on December 1 under a ceasefire accord.
The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese Army in April 2012 in protest over
alleged mistreatment in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(FARDC). They had previously been integrated into the Congolese army under a peace
deal signed in 2009.
Since early May 2012, nearly 3 million people have fled their homes in eastern Congo.
About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but more than 460,000 have crossed into
neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding
poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has
dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—According to a statement released by the UN spokesperson Eduardo del Buey, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), expressed on Monday the organization’s concerns about clashes in Congo, stressing “the mission is actively pursuing a diplomatic and political solution to contain and end the clashes.”
According to Press TV, the statement also said that heavy weapons and rocket launchers were used in the clashes.
“The Mission reports that initial skirmishes escalated to the use of heavy
caliber weapons, mortars and rocket launchers,” the statement said.
Monday morning, Congolese soldiers clashed with the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels for the first time in nearly six months since the rebels retreated from the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
Fighting began after the M23 rebels attacked government positions around 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of the mineral-rich city, according to army spokesman Olivier Hamuli.
The fighting comes after the UN began deploying an attack force to the east last week to neutralize armed groups in the area. The UN has nearly 20,000 peacekeepers in eastern Congo.
Several armed groups, including the March 23 movement (M23) rebels, are active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and fighting for the control of the country’s vast mineral resources.
The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over alleged mistreatment in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). They had previously been integrated into the Congolese army under a peace deal signed in 2009.
Since early May 2012, nearly 3 million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but more than 460,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media KINSHASA—The Security Council has approved the first “offensive” UN force to battle rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Deutsche Welle. The resolution gave the 2,500-troop force orders to “neutralize” and “disarm” armed groups like M23, in the east of the country. The brigade and surveillance drones to monitor the Democratic Republic of Congo’s borders will be operating by July, UN
The force will act “in a robust, highly mobile and versatile manner and in strict compliance with international law,” according to the resolution, to “prevent the expansion of all armed groups, neutralize these groups, and to disarm them.”
The brigade will comprise three infantry battalions, one artillery and one special forces and a reconnaissance company with headquarters in Goma, the North Kivu provincial capital. The UN campaign aims to end conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo’s border regions with Rwanda and Uganda.
According to Reuters, South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi are the most likely candidates to supply the troops for the intervention unit. Mozambique had also been tipped to be part of the new unit but it will likely not be part of the new brigade.
The resolution also states that the intervention brigade will be made up of three infantry battalions, one artillery and one special force and reconnaissance company headquartered in Goma under the direct command of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, known as MONUSCO.