An official has said that the United Nations would counter attacks by March 23 (M23) rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“You have seen this determination in the briefing that the Special Representative made to the Security Council,” Mathias Gillmann, the spokesperson of the United Nations mission in DR Congo, said.
Gillmann said during a press conference on Wednesday, July 13, that the UN’s robust response permitted it to counter the M23 and stop its advance on the town of Goma.
He said the situation in Bunagana has been a preoccupying one.
“We continue to call on the M23 to lay down their arms, but it is your army (FARDC) which is as usual sovereign and in the frontline to carry out offensive attacks,” Gillmann said
He recalled that the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) is not alone on the ground.
“We are there to assist them (FARDC); we are there to carry out operations with them, either unilaterally or jointly, when there are direct threats to the protection of civilians, but we work in coordination with the army.”
“The army is on the lead of these operations against M23; thus, the questions you have asked me are better addressed to your army.”
He reassured on the determination of MONUSCO and the FARDC to do their best.
“Knowing that to stop or counter M23 attacks, we have carried out bombardments, we have installed posts to stop M23 from continuing to advance and capture territory,” the UN spokesperson said.
“We will continue to do so in support and coordination with your army, which is at the head of these operations against M23.”
“understand that there could be frustrations, some disquiet when the army does not seem to be able to recapture Bonagana as quickly as you want, but I assure you that your army is mobilised, and we are mobilised together with your army.”
Concerning operations against M23 and the situation in Rutshuru, MONUSCO forces continue to support the Congolese army, notably around the Kabindi bridge and in Rumangabo, to ensure security in the movement of the population along national highway number two, the UN spokesperson concluded.
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