Condemning Deadly Attack on Peacekeepers, Mission Premises in Democratic Republic of Congo, Secretary-General Stresses United Nations Mission Bases’ Inviolability
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the fatal attack on peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on 26 July in Butembo, North Kivu province. Two Indian police personnel and one Moroccan military personnel were killed and one Egyptian police personnel was injured during a violent demonstration at the Mission’s base. The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the fallen peacekeepers, as well as to the Government and the people of India and of Morocco. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured peacekeeper.
The Secretary-General also strongly condemns violence targeting multiple United Nations bases across North Kivu province since 25 July, in which individuals and groups forcibly entered bases and engaged in looting and destruction of United Nations property, while also looting and setting fire to the residences of United Nations personnel. The Secretary-General regrets the loss of life of demonstrators in this context and affirms MONUSCO’s commitment to work with the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents.
The Secretary-General recalls the status of forces agreement concluded between the United Nations and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which guarantees the inviolability of United Nations premises. He underscores that any attack directed against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and calls upon the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and swiftly bring those responsible to justice. To this end, the Secretary-General welcomes the statement of the Spokesperson of the Congolese Government, issued on 25 July, which condemned the violence and indicated that the perpetrators will be prosecuted.
The Secretary-General reaffirms the United Nations’ strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo and that the United Nations, through his Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its Mission mandated by the Security Council, will continue to support the Congolese Government and people in their efforts to bring about peace and stability in the east of the country.