United Nations Mission Warns of Growing Violence in Eastern DRC

United Nations (UN) official Bintou Keita warned the UN Security Council of growing violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), expressing concern over the “security and stability” in the region.

According to Keita, The Cooperative for Development of the Congo (CODECO), the Allied Democratic Forces, and other armed organizations continue to carry out attacks in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, damaging recent advancements and the constructive dynamic between DRC and its neighbor, Rwanda.

Keita revealed that more than 150 civilians have already been killed and 700,000 people were displaced between May and June as a result of other armed groups attempting to exploit the “security vacuum” created by the Congolese army and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) changing personnel.

Keita, the head of MONUSCO, said that the M23 rebel group continues to behave more and more like a “conventional army” with high-tech weapons, which pose an “obvious” threat to civilians and peacekeepers.

The President of Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development in the DRC recounted to the UN the story of a local named Furaha, who described her experience in Eastern DRC.

According to Furaha, after paying a ransom for a kidnapped family member, she was allegedly tied up, beaten, robbed of her clothes, and forced to cook and consume the meat of a Nande man who was slaughtered by the CODECO militia.

The DRC’s delegate for MONUSCO called for “respect” between the DRC and Rwanda, criticizing the DRC’s allegations against Rwanda, which he warned could “lead to deterioration of the security situation.” 

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