Secretary-General Strongly Condemns Deadly Attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attacks allegedly committed, on 29 and 30 November, by the 23 March Movement (M23) against civilians in Kishishe and Bambo villages in Rutshuru Territory, North Kivu Province.  According to preliminary investigations by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the attacks resulted in at least 131 civilians killed, including 17 women and 12 children, and 8 others injured.  These attacks are the latest in a series of violence inflicted on civilians by armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a swift recovery to the injured.  He welcomes the decision of the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents with a view to bringing those found responsible to justice.  He informs that the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office of MONUSCO will continue to support the Congolese authorities in these efforts.

The Secretary-General urges M23 and all other armed groups immediately cease hostilities and disarm unconditionally.  The Secretary-General calls on all parties to facilitate humanitarian access to the affected populations and to ensure the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law.

The Secretary-General reiterates that the United Nations, through his Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will continue to support the Congolese Government and people in their efforts to bring about peace and stability in the east of the country.

For information media. Not an official record.