Thursday, 9 May 2013


Two people suspected of involvement in an ambush in which a Pakistani peacekeeper was killed in strife-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, were arrested on Wednesday, local government officials said.
"Two people suspected of the attack against a United Nations convoy have just been arrested in Walungu," said Augustin Kazadi, administrator of the eastern town.
The information was confirmed by the governor of the South Kivu province, Marcellin Cishambo, who said that traditional chiefs from the region where the attack took place were assisting police.
A spokesman for the peacekeeping, or blue-helmet, force in DR Congo, officially known as MONUSCO, said the two final vehicles in the convoy were attacked by about ten men.
"These armed persons tried to take hostage a blue-helmet and in an exchange of fire which followed, three peacekeepers were injured and one of them succumbed to his wounds," said Alao Billiaminou, adding that the two others were not seriously injured.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the organisation's leader Ban Ki-moon was "appalled" by the latest attack on UN peacekeepers and an investigation had started.
Various armed groups operate in South Kivu but it is not a stronghold of the M23 rebel group, which launched an offensive against DR Congo government forces and UN peacekeepers in North Kivu province late last year.
Ban condemned "in the strongest terms" the killing of the Pakistani peacekeeper, his spokesman said.
The killing of peacekeepers is "a war crime that falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court," he added.
The UN leader "offers his sincerest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, and to the government of Pakistan."
Ban called on the DR Congo government to "bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice," Nesirky added.
Pakistan is a key contributor to MONUSCO, which is one of the biggest UN peacekeeping forces in the world with more than 17,750 troops and military observers and 1,400 police.
The UN Security Council voted in March to create an additional intervention brigade of more than 2,500 troops in eastern DR Congo to take on armed groups such as M23.
The special force, the first to be given an offensive mandate, is expected to start deploying in coming weeks and will be made up of troops from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania.

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