UN concerned about recent clashes in mineral-rich DR Congo
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
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