Democratic Republic of the Congo
UN Secretary-General Expresses Concern Over Surge In Violence In Eastern Part Of DR Congo
The United Nations (UN) on Monday said an increase in militant attacks in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has claimed more than 700 lives since December, reported France 24.
“The security situation deteriorated further in the three eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo with a steep surge in violence,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a quarterly report on the situation in mineral-rich former Zaire.
He said the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist-aligned group; a notorious militia called CODECO; and M23 insurgents are the main militant groups behind the violence.
While talking about human rights violations in the DRC, the UN Secretary General said more than people were killed in extrajudicial or summary killings by armed groups around the country.
The DRC claims that the M23 rebels are getting support from the Rwanda government, which is seeking control of its rich mineral resources across the border. The European Union (EU) and the United States (US) also blame Rwanda for supporting the insurgency.
But, Kigali continues to deny all the claims and accuses Kinshasa of supporting Hutu rebels. The M23 rebel group has captured large swathes of territory in the DRC’s North Kivu province.
Earlier this month, President Felix Tshisekedi urged French President Emmanuel Macron to impose international sanctions against Rwanda for supporting the M23 rebels.
The UN Secretary-General said he was worried about an increase in hate speech further fuelled by M23 violence and growing political tensions between the DRC and Rwanda.
Guterres said that he is concerned about the escalating tensions between the DRC and Rwanda. He made an appeal to both sides to settle their differences through dialogue and existing conflict resolution mechanisms.
At least 800,000 people have fled their homes due to the fighting in the eastern DRC in the past 12 months, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).