Rebels in DRC shoot at UN helicopter, injuring 2 South African peacekeepers on board: UN-Xinhua

Rebels in DRC shoot at UN helicopter, injuring 2 South African peacekeepers on board: UN

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-03 05:04:30

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) shot at a UN helicopter on Friday and wounded two South African peacekeepers, one seriously, a UN spokesman said.

The attack occurred in the Karuba region of North Kivu province, in Masisi territory, and the chopper landed safely in Goma, where the peacekeepers received medical attention, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"The head of the peacekeeping mission there, Bintou Keita, strongly condemned the attack against an aircraft bearing the UN emblem, which comes almost a year after a similar attack caused the death of a South African peacekeeper," said Dujarric. "She recalled that attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes."

The spokesman said the mission, known as MONUSCO, would spare no effort, in cooperation with the Congolese authorities, to bring the perpetrators to justice. Officials blame the rebel group M23 for the attack.

Dujarric said the latest attack occurred as the head of the UN peacekeeping department, Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix, arrived in Beni, in North Kivu.

The spokesman said that Lacroix was joined by Catherine Pollard, the Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, along with Christian Saunders, the Special Coordinator on Improving the UN Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, on a visit to the eastern part of the DRC.

A DRC government spokesman said that on Feb. 5, 2023 the M23 shot at a UN helicopter flying from Beni, to Goma, killing one peacekeeper and severely injuring another.