At least 14 blue helmets, of Tanzanian nationality, and five soldiers of the Congolese Army have died this Thursday during a long and intense attack launched by the Ugandan rebels at one of the United Nations bases in the territory of Beni, in the east of the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In addition, there are more than fifty injured, some serious, as reported in a statement by the United Nations Mission in Congo ( MONUSCO ). The seriously wounded have been flown to Goma. In August of last year, 51 civilians were killed in the same regional capital in one of their incursions.
Outraged by the attack against @MONUSCO in #NorthKivu DRC last evening, where a large number of @UN peacekeepers have been killed & wounded. Our thoughts & prayers with families & our colleagues in @MONUSCO. Reinforcements are on scene & medical evacuations by Mission ongoing. pic.twitter.com/l84tFHYKMR
— Jean-Pierre Lacroix (@Lacroix_UN) 8 December 2017
The offensive was launched by the Ugandan Muslim militia ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) against a temporary MONUSCO base located in Semuliki, 80 kilometers from the city of Beni, and in which a hundred blue helmets had been positioned.
But the soldiers of the Congolese Army (FARDC), with a post less than 10 kilometers away, have also intervened in the fighting, which has lasted more than four hours. According to the FARDC, casualties on the rebel side go up to more than seventy dead, says Radio Okapi.
The ADF is a Ugandan armed group operating in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the 1990s, within the mosaic of militias that operate in the most unstable region of the Congo, the border with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. But it has become the most active group since 2014, when it began executing a series of massacres in the territory of Beni, bordering Uganda.
The deadly instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo started with the humanitarian and military tsunami generated by the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and since then it has been degraded into the worst conflict in the world – it is estimated that more than 5 million people have died of people.
The focus of violence is moving between the border territories, in the east of the country, with the influence of neighboring countries. But in addition, the political insecurity has added to the war for two years, which has generated another point of violence , in the center of the country, in Kasai, and a wave of repression. The current president, Joseph Kabila, should have left office in December 2016, but the elections were not organized and are not scheduled until the end of 2018.