UNITED NATIONS, June 13 – Rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) attacking a displaced persons site killed more than 45 people, a UN spokesman said on Monday.
Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said the UN mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, condemned the raid on Monday by members of the armed group known as CODECO on the Lala site, about 75 km from Bunia, in Ituri Province. There were also 10 injuries.
The mission, extending condolences to the victims’ families and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured, said it would spare no effort to end these attacks and combat impunity within the framework of its mandate, Dujarric noted.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said in a statement issued in Geneva that it was shocked by the latest in a series of callous attacks on vulnerable people in the DRC.
Despite the volatile security situation, UNHCR said the agency and its humanitarian partners remain committed to providing life-saving assistance and protection to affected populations. Response activities are underway to address the immediate needs of displaced individuals, including shelter, food, and psychosocial support for those traumatized during the attack.
Dujarric said MONUSCO also reaffirmed its commitment to work alongside the Congolese defense and security forces to increase joint patrols to protect civilians and displaced people.
The refugee agency said the recent resurgence of violence in the region was deeply concerning and underscored the urgent need for sustained efforts to address the causes of conflict and promote lasting peace and stability.
The agency called for all involved to respect the civilian and humanitarian nature of displacement sites and ensure the safety and well-being of displaced populations.
Only last week, Karim A.A. Khan, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, wrapped up his first visit to the DRC, the ICC said on Monday.
Before departing from Kinshasa, the DRC capital, Khan signed with DRC President Felix Tshisekedi a Memorandum of Understanding on aiding in investigating allegations of possible international crimes and to provide forensic experts to help in some national investigations, the ICC said in a release from The Hague. ~Xinhua/Namibia Daily News