New York [US], July 13 (ANI/Xinhua): The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Bintou Keita has condemned the recent attacks attributed to rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, in the northeast part of the country, according to a press release published Wednesday.
Since last week, ADF rebels have launched several attacks in the two provinces, during which more than 20 people have been killed and a large number of civilians, including 30 children, abducted, according to the statement.
Following these multiple attacks, the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), also headed by Keita, claims to have deployed rapid reaction forces to provide immediate protection and support to people in the areas affected.
Keita in her statement stressed the need to maintain military pressure on the ADF and other armed groups operating in North Kivu and Ituri, as the Congolese army and MONUSCO have been concentrating for more than a month to repel the attacks by the rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).
“The Special Representative reiterates the need to initiate de-escalation as soon as possible, to obtain that the M23 and all armed groups lay down their arms without conditions, and to ensure a united regional and international response for security and stability in eastern DRC,” read the statement.
Since the end of March 2022, the M23 has been on the offensive in DRC’s northeastern province of North Kivu, while thousands of civilians have been displaced by the still ongoing fighting. (ANI/Xinhua)