26 December 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: UN Peacekeepers Respond to Ugandan Rebel Attack in Eastern DR Congo

Photo: Mathilde Guntzberger/IRIN
Reformed fighters

United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) yesterday helped the national armed forces retake control over a town following an attack by a Ugandan rebel group that left dozens dead and displaced many more.

In the early hours of Wednesday, the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-Nalu) attacked positions of the DRC national armed forces (FARDC) in the town of Kamango.

The rebels captured the location after brief clashes, resulting in the killing of innocent people and massive displacement of civilian populations towards the Ugandan border, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO).

"MONUSCO strongly condemns these attacks and reassures that it will be using all its aerial and ground assets available to protect the civilians and will reinforce its presence in the area," it stated.

In accordance with its mandate to protect civilians, MONUSCO launched two attack helicopter sorties to respond to repeated attacks from the ADF-Nalu. In coordinated operations to support FARDC troops on the ground, MONUSCO helicopters opened fire on ADF-held positions to help Government troops retake Kamango.

The Mission noted that the FARDC has successfully taken over positions in Kamango and is currently in control of the situation.

"The Mission is determined to fulfil its mandate of tracking down and neutralizing all armed groups elements that spread fear and desolation among innocent civilians."

In March, the Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within MONUSCO to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC.

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