UN Peacekeeper Killed Following Helicopter Attack In DR Congo

A United Nations peacekeeper from South Africa was killed and another wounded in an attack on their helicopter in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, the organisation confirmed on Monday.

The aircraft came under fire at around 3:00 pm (1200 GMT) during a flight to Goma, the provincial capital of Nord-Kivu province, where it was able to land, a spokesman told reporters.
The source of the fire that struck the helicopter was not yet known and its precise location had yet to be determined, said Amadou Ba, a spokesman for the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).South Africa’s military also confirmed the incident to reporters.

An Oryx helicopter came under fire in Goma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday February 5, 2023,‘ the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said in a statement.

Read Also: Islamist Rebels Murders Over 15 In Eastern DR Congo

‘A crew member was fatally shot, another suffered injuries but managed to continue flying the chopper and landed safely at Goma Airport.

‘The SANDF is in the process of informing family members of the soldiers who were involved in this unfortunate incident.’

MONUSCO chief Bintou Keita said she ‘strongly condemns this cowardly attack on an aircraft bearing the UN emblem’, adding that ‘attacks against peacekeepers can constitute a war crime’.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Congolese authorities ‘to investigate this heinous attack and swiftly bring those responsible to justice’, said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric in a statement.

On March 29, 2022, eight UN peacekeepers — six Pakistanis, one Russian, and one Serb — were killed when their helicopter crashed over a combat zone between the Congolese army and M23 rebels.

Militias have plagued the mineral-rich eastern DRC for decades, many of them a legacy of regional wars that flared during the 1990s and the early 2000s.

Africa Today News, New York reports that since November 2021, the M23 rebel group has seized chunks of territory and come within miles of the east’s main commercial hub Goma.

East African leaders called Saturday for an immediate ceasefire in eastern DRC, at an extraordinary summit called to find ways of calming the raging conflict.

Africa Today News, New York

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *