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In DRC, UN Deploys Attack Helicopters, Tanzanian in UN Brigade Killed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 28 -- Now the UN in the Congo is using attack helicopters and "delivering" mortar and artillery fire, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq announced at Wednesday's UN noon briefing.

  Inner City Press asked if the UN was doing this in support of the Congolese Army, and if so in support of which units of that Army -- since two units, the 391st and 41st Battalion, were implicated in mass rapes in Minova and the former in corpse desecration.

  Haq refused to say which units of the Congolese Army FARDC the UN is supporting, but said that the so-called Human Rights Due Diligence Policy is being implemented. How could anyone know? If the UN is hiding which units it supports?

  The problem goes beyond the 391st and 41st Battalions - other FARDC units are named in the most recent UN Group of Experts report, the full text of which Inner City Press exclusively put online.

  At that time, Inner City Press asked all four spokespeople for UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous to answer if the named units receive UN support. An answer was promised -- after checking with MONUSCO -- then none was provided.

On Monday August 27 Inner City Press asked if there had been any MONUSCO casualties and was told by spokesperson Farhan Haq, "none to report." On August 28 Haq read out that the

"MONUSCO Force, including the Intervention Brigade, is supporting the FARDC military operations. MONUSCO is supporting the FARDC defence line, has delivered mortar and artillery fire and engaged its attack helicopters. The FARDC has used attack helicopters, battle tanks and ground forces. The operation is still ongoing. We have just learned that one MONUSCO peacekeeper has been killed. Three others have been wounded."

  Later on Wednesday UN Peacekeeping specified the nationality, and envoy Martin Kobler's outrage, which some noted did not include the previously used term, war crime. Inside the UN, an expert has explained to Inner City Press the term war crime cannot properly used with regard to a combatant, to a party to an armed conflict. Rest in Peace.

Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO, strongly condemns killing of UN Peacekeeper by M23

Kinshasa, 28 August 2013 – A Peacekeeper was killed on 28 August as the M23 directed artillery fire on a United Nations position close to Kibati heights north of Goma. The attack occurred as MONUSCO supported action by the FARDC to push the M23 off the heights from where they have been shelling Goma.

I am outraged by today’s killing of a United Nations Peacekeeper from Tanzania by the M23”, says Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the DRC. “He sacrificed his life to protect civilians in Goma. My thoughts go to his family and all members of his unit in this very difficult moment."

  As said, Rest in Peace. We maintain that UN Peacekeeping, if its stated Human Rights Due Diligence Policy is to have any meaning and be able to be assessed, must release which Congolese Army units it is supporting. Watch this site.


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