The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has expressed "deep concern and strongly condemns" the attacks on civilians and the resultant violent demonstrations against United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) peacekeepers.
This was said by SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation Chairperson President Mnangagwa in a statement yesterday.
"The attacks in Beni have resulted in the death of approximately 80 people, as well as the injury and displacement of many people," he said.
"SADC is resolute in voicing its condemnation of the attacks that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continue to perpetrate on the civilian population in the DRC.
"SADC expresses its condolences to the Government and the People of DRC, as well as the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks, and wishes those that were injured full and speedy recovery."
The SADC organ chair said the attacks have disrupted the response to the deadly Ebola, which poses a "huge risk" of the disease spreading beyond the current epicentre, which may lead to more deaths.
"SADC calls upon the Government of the DRC to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilians, and end the violence perpetrated on peacekeepers," he said.
President Mnangagwa also urged civilians in Beni to remain calm, submit their grievances through established formal channels, and allow the resolution of their grievances through dialogue to enable MONUSCO peacekeepers, the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) and the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) to carry out operations against negative forces, including ADF, to stabilise the country and the region.
He said SADC reaffirms its continued commitment to support the DRC to restore peace and tranquillity and enable the country to return to political normalcy.