UN calls on DR Congo to probe death of Pakistani peacekeeper

New York, May 9 : The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) joined Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday in condemning the targeted attack against a United Nations military convoy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) South Kivu province, and calling on the Government to launch an investigation into the incident, which resulted in the death of a Pakistani peacekeeper.

In a statement, the members of the Council called on DRC authorities to "swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice."

The military convoy of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the country (MONUSCO) was moving from Walungu to Bukavu Tuesday when it was attacked by unidentified assailants who attempted to take the peacekeepers hostage.

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.

In the statement, the Council recalled its decision to extend sanctions measures to individuals and entities that plan, sponsor or participate in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers, and reiterated the importance of measures to strengthen UN field security arrangements and improve the safety and security of all military contingents, police officers, military observers, and unarmed observers of MONUSCO.

Late Tuesday night, in a statement issued by his Spokesman, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "appalled" by the attack, and recalled that "the killing of peacekeepers is a war crime that falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court."

He also called on the Government to bring the perpetrators to justice, and offered his condolences and to the family of the victim, and to the Government of Pakistan.

MONUSCO is tasked with supporting the Congolese authorities in their stabilization and peace consolidation efforts, including assisting with the holding of elections, the monitoring of human rights violations and support for Government action against armed groups operating in the east of the country. The mission has already begun an investigation into the attack.

--IBNS (Posted on 09-05-2013)

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