3 January 2014

Congo-Kinshasa: UN Peacekeepers in DR Congo On Alert After Killing of Army Commander

United Nations peacekeepers in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have stepped up patrols in North Kivu province where citizens are protesting the killing of a high-ranking Congolese military official, a spokesperson confirmed today.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General Martin Kobler issued a statement yesterday condemning the assassination of Colonel Mamadou Moustapha Ndala of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC).

Mr. Kobler, who also heads the UN Mission in the DRC known by its French acronym MONUSCO, had met Colonel Ndala many times, calling him a "dynamic and courageous" military leader. He noted his contribution to the country's peace and security, and stressed the Organization's resolve to supporting Congolese nationals.

"This act will in no way the firm determination of MONUSCO to fight against negative forces wherever they are and whatever their motivations," Mr. Kobler said in the statement from Kinshasa.

The Colonel and three other soldiers died when his vehicle was ambushed by armed gunmen.

The Mission reported today it has additional troops in the nearby area of Beni and Lubero, in North Kivu province, where residents are demonstrating against the killing, according to a UN spokesperson in New York.

In recent weeks, UN peacekeepers in that part of the country helped national armed forces retake control of a town following an attack by a Ugandan rebel group, the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-Nalu), which left dozens dead and displaced many more.

In accordance with its Security Council mandate to protect civilians, MONUSCO supported the FARDC during the operation against the rebel group, including through the use of its attack helicopter, the provision of logistical support and medical evacuations.

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