UN envoy warns that Congolese M23 rebels are acting like troops

United Nations (AP) — The United Nations Special Envoy of Congo is responsible for the protection of civilians on Wednesday as M23 rebel groups act more and more as regular troops during the intensification of military operations in the volatile eastern part of the country. He warned that it could threaten peacekeepers.

Bintou Keita tells the UN Security Council a regional effort to ease tensions over M23 rebels and other armed groups that are causing fear of war between neighboring countries between Congo and Rwanda. Requested full support.

She also urged her to seize the opportunity to resolve the difference between Congo and Rwanda at the next summit hosted by President Joan Laurenco of Angola in the capital Luanda.

The eastern part of Congo, which borders Rwanda, is a daily threat from dozens of armed groups competing for some of the region’s abundant mineral resources that the world is mining for electric vehicles, laptops and mobile phones. Is exposed to. One of the most notorious rebel groups, the M23, surged this year and occupied a major trading city in eastern Congo this month.

Congo accused Rwanda of supporting the M23, which Rwanda has long denied. Countries have blamed the other of the recent invasions.

On June 20, East African leaders met in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, responded to the threat of war by instructing new regional troops to deploy in eastern Congo and ordering an immediate outage.

“During recent hostilities, the M23 has increasingly acted as a regular army rather than an armed group,” Keita told the Security Council.

“The M23 is equipped with firepower and equipment, and is becoming more sophisticated, especially in terms of long range shooting capabilities, mortars, machine guns, and precision shooting against aircraft,” she said. She is clear that “this poses a threat to civilians” and “the United Nations peacekeeping forces that have the authority to protect them.”

According to the UN Special Representative, the M23 attack had a major impact on civilians, killing 23 people, including six children, and evacuating more than 170,000 in May and June.

Keita faces a threat beyond her current capabilities as the M23 continues to “enhance its traditional capabilities” and “well-tuned attacks” against the Congolese forces and the UN peacekeepers known as “MONUSCO.” Warned that there is a possibility of doing so.

She also quoted threats from other armed groups.

During May 28, when government and UN peacekeepers shifted their troops to focus on M23, other armed groups “tried to take advantage of the resulting security gap.” Increased attacks in North Kivu and Ituri, which killed more than 150 civilians. And June 17th.

Keita later told reporters that the deployment of regional troops approved at the Kenyan Conference should complement the UN peacekeeping forces. “The most important factors and features for us are adjustment, adjustment, adjustment.”

Fortunately, the regional forces will be based in Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo, and the UN peacekeepers have a coordination center with the Congolese forces, she said. She also emphasized the importance of regional military efforts on human rights.

According to Keita, MONUSCO was informed that the headquarters of the regional army would be deployed by the end of July and that the army would arrive by the end of August.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills argues that the deployment of regional troops will be closely coordinated with UN peacekeeping forces and will be implemented under international law and existing Security Council sanctions resolutions. I told the council.

Keita said the Congolese government was encouraged by its commitment to proceed with talks with armed groups, lay down weapons and encourage them to participate in the country’s disarmament program, with several groups expressing their willingness. Added.

Julian Rusenge, chairman of the Congolese organization’s solidarity for women’s peace and development, said that the impact of worsening conflict in the east on women was that mothers said, “Instead of boiling corn and soybeans, children We are cooking the soil to feed ourselves, “he told the council.

Rusenge also talked about a woman whose family mortgaged land to pay $ 700 for a relative’s ransom. She was kidnapped when she went to deliver the money and was forced to cook the internal organs of the murdered man given to the prisoner and was repeatedly raped. After her release, she was detained by another group on her way home, she was detained as a sex slave and forced to cook and eat human flesh. She escaped, returned to the village, and learned that her family, who had been asked for her ransom, had been murdered.

Lucenge told the Security Council that UN experts had shown Rwanda’s involvement in M23 and called on the end of “ambiguity in what is happening in the east.” And she strengthened civilian protection to prevent death and sexual violence against women and girls, medical and psychological support for survivors, and to end violence and restore stability in eastern Congo. Encouraged to strengthen the dialogue.

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