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DRC: UN peacekeepers respond to Ugandan rebel attack

New York, Dec 27 : United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Wednesday helped the national armed forces retake control over a town following an attack by a Ugandan rebel group that left dozens dead and displaced many more.


In the early hours of Wednesday, the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-Nalu) attacked positions of the Congolese national armed forces (FARDC) in the town of Kamango, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO).

The rebels captured the location after brief clashes, during which they reportedly burnt a number of houses and abducted some 50 people. According to initial reports, six FARDC troops were killed and seven wounded during the operations, while the number of ADF rebels killed is yet to be confirmed.

At least seven civilians were also reported to have lost their lives and eight more wounded, the UN said. Up to 150,000 civilians were displaced, while some 2,000 reportedly crossed the border seeking refuge in Uganda.

"MONUSCO strongly condemns these attacks and reassures that it will be using all its aerial and ground assets available to protect the civilians and will reinforce its presence in the area," it stated.

In accordance with its mandate to protect civilians, MONUSCO supported the FARDC during the operation against the rebel group, including through the use of its attack helicopter, the provision of logistical support and medical evacuations.

The Mission noted that the FARDC has successfully taken over positions in Kamango and is currently in control of the situation.

"The Mission is determined to fulfil its mandate of tracking down and neutralizing all armed groups elements that spread fear and desolation among innocent civilians."

In March, the Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within MONUSCO to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC.

--IBNS (Posted on 27-12-2013)

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