Rebels attack UN base in Congo, killing 20 soldiers
11 December 2017
In the early morning hours on Thursday, armed militants carried out a raid on a UN base in Eastern Congo, killing 15 UN soldiers and five troops with the Congolese army. Some 40 more were critically wounded. The UN casualties, all soldiers from Tanzania, were deployed to the Congo under the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
Thursday’s attack is the deadliest assault on UN forces since 1993 in Somalia, when 22 UN soldiers were killed in the course of supporting the US military effort to prop up its puppet government. That military effort resulted in a devastating setback when 18 US special forces soldiers were killed during a raid on Mogadishu.
MONUSCO officials characterized the attack as “a well-coordinated and complex operation launched at dusk by attackers armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades,” declaring the attack represented a “serious escalation.” In addition to the casualties, the militia took out two armored personnel carriers and an ambulance and truck before withdrawing.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres condemned the attack, and said it constituted a war crime. “I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at last night’s attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is another indication of the enormous sacrifices made by troop-contributing countries in the service of global peace.”
Spokesperson for the US State Department Heather Nauert stated that Washington was “appalled by the horrific act.”
MONUSCO head Maman Sidikou issued a statement condemning the attack: “Attacks against those who are working in the service of peace…