On Tuesday, eight members of MONUSCO (the UN peacekeeping mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo) were killed when their helicopter collided with Rwanda’s border. Congolese soldiers accused March 23 Movement militants, who were allegedly shooting down the helicopter. The rebels refuted this accusation.
MONUSCO stated that the Pakistani helicopter carrying the tail number 810 was flying a reconnaissance mission over Tshanzu in North Kivu Province near the border to Rwanda and Uganda. According to General Sylvain Ékenge (Congolese military spokesperson), it crashed in M23, an area controlled by rebels.
Along with the six Pakistani crewmembers, the helicopter was also carrying Russian Lieutenant Colonel Alexey Mizyura, and Serbian Lieutenant Col. Dejan Stanojevic. Both were serving for MONUSCO. Although the Pakistani military stated that all eight crew members died in the crash but didn’t specify what caused it, the Pakistani military did confirm the fact.
MONUSCO deputy commander General Benoit Chavanat announcedOn Tuesday morning, the UN force will be “not directly engaged in combat”However, the M23 is not against it. “act in support”protection of civilians.
The Congolese military has continued to fight in this area with the support of M23. Although the Rwandan-backed rebels had been disarmed in 2013 with UN peacekeepers’ assistance, they rose in November 2013. According to the Congolese military, Rwanda was accused of helping M23 carry out raids in North Kivu this weekend.
Uganda claims its armies clashed with M23 at the Congo border after rebels attacked a civilian settlement.
“Our forces responded and 14 rebels were killed, seven were taken prisoners of war,”According to AFP. According to him, one Ugandan soldier died during the fighting.
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