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UN Condemns M23 Attack on Helicopter in DRC

Oct 14, 2013 3:53 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Africa's Great Lakes region has condemned an armed rebel attack on a UN helicopter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), calling the act "unacceptable."

"I learned with deep concern that a MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC] helicopter came under direct fire from positions held by the M23 rebel movement in the Rumangabo region," said Mary Robinson of the UN's special envoy. "I strongly condemn this serious incident that threatens the security of MONUSCO personnel."

In the past year, clashes have continued sporadically throughout the DRC's eastern region, with rebels briefly occupying the main city, Goma, in November 2012. The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region, which includes 2.6 million internally displaced persons and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid, according to the UN.

MONUSCO is tasked with the protection of civilians in the DRC. In March, the Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within the mission to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the DRC's national army, against armed groups that threaten peace.

Tags: drc, Jeff Miller, m23, mission, peacekeepers, rebels, un
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