DRC: Washington calls for protection of UN peacekeepers after killing of Moroccan & Indian Blue Helmets
The United States government has called on the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure the protection of MONUSCO sites and personnel, following the killing of three UN peacekeepers, one from Morocco and two from India.
The call was made by State Department Spokesperson Ned Price during his daily briefing held Thursday in Washington-DC.
“Over the past four days, there have been protests against MONUSCO in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. A number of these protests have turned violent, resulting in the unacceptable and tragic deaths of UN peacekeepers and UN police officers and Congolese protesters,” he said.
“The United States offers condolences and deepest sympathies to the families, the friends, and colleagues of those killed as well as to MONUSCO and to the United Nations”, he added, stressing the critical role of the UN mission in fostering peace and security, protecting civilians, and facilitating delivery of humanitarian assistance.
“We appreciate the government of the DRC’s commitment to investigating these events and holding accountable those responsible”, said the spokesperson of the State Department.
“The United States underscores that attacks against UN personnel and facilities are contrary to international law”, affirmed Mr. Ned Price.
The UN Security Council, UN Chief, the European Union, the Arab Parliament and several Arab countries, including Bahrain and Jordan have all condemned the deadly terrorist attack that targeted Moroccan peacekeepers serving in MONUSCO. Twenty other Moroccan blue Helmets were also injured in the attack which occurred in the northeastern region of DRC.
Rebels in the turbulent region took advantage of a violent protest staged by the local population against the presence of MONUSCO.
Another Moroccan soldier died Wednesday in a friendly fire by the UN police sent to reinforce the Moroccan peacekeeping mission.