14 Blue Helmets killed in DRC

SUDAN, Abyei: A photograph released by the United Nations Mission in Sudan 30 May, shows a soldier from Zambia serving with the international peacekeeping operation on the ground during a patrol in the volatile region of Abyei, central Sudan. United Nations military observers (UNMOs) and peacekeeper patrols have been steadily expanding their reach throughout the Abyei area in a concerted drive to increase visible presence of UN peacekeepers and to step-up patrol and observation activities. UNMIS PHOTO / STUART PRICE.
The United Nations said on Friday that 14 peacekeepers had been killed by gunmen in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“The killing of 12 peacekeepers has been confirmed and now the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has said 14 people have been killed and about 30 seriously wounded,” spokesman Farhan Haq said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, stressing that attacks on peacekeepers were unacceptable and considered a war crime.

Members of the peacekeepers who have died from Tanzania. Reinforcements have arrived in the area and the Force Commander is at the scene. Five soldiers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are also reportedly killed.

The incident took place in North Kivu province, east of the DRC, where rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and the Allied Democratic Forces are active.

The United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) was established in 1999 and is responsible for peacekeeping in the Republic, which is beset by clashes between government forces and various rebel groups.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the largest UN peacekeeping mission, with about 20,000 troops and police.