Attack on United Nations peacekeeping forces in DRC 'a war crime'

Attack on United Nations peacekeeping forces in DRC 'a war crime'

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed "outrage and utter heartbreak" and called the attack a war crime, urging Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate.

At least five other Congolese soldiers were killed.

The peacekeeping base is located about 45 kilometres (27 miles) from the town of Beni, which has been repeatedly hit by rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group. The UN mission "will take all actions to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and brought to justice".

"And I think this attack is a our increasingly robust posture in that region", he said.

He also said that the attack was another indication of the challenges faced by United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world and acknowledged the sacrifices made by troop contributing countries in the service of global peace.

Three other peacekeepers are missing after a three-hour firefight that broke out at dusk on Thursday evening, said Ian Sinclair, the director of the U.N. Operations and Crisis Centre.

The UN chief stressed: "There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else". "It is another indication of the enormous sacrifices made by troop-contributing countries in the service of global peace".

"These fearless women and men are putting their lives on the line every day across the world to serve peace and to protect civilians", he noted. Eastern Congo is especially known to be plagued with violence, hunger, and internal displacement since Hutu forces from Rwanda crossed the border in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Tanzania's President John Magufuli said he was "shocked and saddened" by the deaths, which come amid rising violence against civilians, the army and United Nations troops in Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern borderlands.

In recent months, violence in eastern Congo has spiked with clashes between rebels and security forces and inter-communal violence that has left thousands dead and prompted a new wave of refugees to flee the country. Almost 4.5 million Congolese have been forced to flee from their homes, and many are living in such camps, according to the United Nations.

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