UN peacekeepers killed in militant attack in east Congo bases

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FIB Tanzanian special forces during training, Sake, the 17th of July 2013. © MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti
Special intervention brigade forces from Tanzania, part of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – MONUSCO, on duty in Sake, North Kivu (July 2013). Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti

Two United Nations peacekeepers were killed and several others injured in a militant attack on their base in North Kivu on Monday, a UN spokesperson said.

According to Reuters, Gunmen believed to belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan Islamist group active near the border, attacked a UN peacekeeping base in the village of Mamundioma, over 30 km northeast of Beni, MONUSCO said in a statement.

The mission, known as MONUSCO, said it had deployed attack helicopters in response to the raid, and the army said it was battling militants along the main road leading from North Kivu province’s Beni territory to the Uganda border, the report said.

The UN base attached  housed Tanzanian peacekeepers who formed part of an intervention brigade which has a mandate to conduct offensive operations against militants.

A statement from the mission stated that two peacekeepers were reported to have been killed with several others injured.

“This region has seen more than enough violence already,” mission chief Maman Sidikou said. “I reiterate to all these armed groups who continue to threaten and kill civilians, MONUSCO will respond, and it will respond strongly.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, confirming the dead soldiers were Tanzanians and that 18 peacekeepers were wounded, AFP reports.

Guterres called on the Congolese government to bring the attackers to justice.

The ADF has been accused by Kinshasa and the UN mission of killing more than 700 people in the Beni region since October 2014, the report said.