DR Congo: UN mission deploys 'blue helmets' to protect civilians and refugees
NEW YORK: Responding to the worsening security situation near a major town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations mission in the country has deployed peacekeepers to deter any attacks on the city and to prevent escalation in clashes.According to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC, known by its French acronym MONUSCO, clashes had occurred in the area of Uvira, in South Kivu province, between presumed armed groups and the Congolese national army (FARDC).
Noting that the response is guided by the Mission's mandate, Maman Sidikou, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MONUSCO, said: "[We are] strongly committed to the protection of civilians, including vulnerable groups such as refugees and displaced people."
He called on the armed groups to immediately cease this hostility including all forms of violence against constituted authority and innocent civilians.
"All perpetrators, in particular those who sponsor armed groups as well as those who bear command responsibility, will be held accountable for human rights abuses," he added.
Uvira is the second largest town in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.