UN helicopter comes under fire in DRC, blue helmet killed

A South African peacekeeper was killed and another seriously injured on Sunday when their helicopter was fired on in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The aircraft came under fire around 3 p.m. during a flight to Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, where it eventually managed to land. According to Amadou Ba, one of the spokespersons for the United Nations mission in the DRC (Monusco), the origin of the shots is not yet known and their precise location remains to be determined.

In a press release published on Sunday evening, Bintou Keita, the head of Monusco, “strongly condemns this cowardly attack against an aircraft bearing the emblem of the United Nations” and recalls that “attacks against blue helmets can constitute a war crime “.

On March 29, 2022, eight peacekeepers (six Pakistanis, one Russian, one Serb) were killed in the crash of their helicopter above a combat zone between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels. Since November 2021, the mostly Tutsi M23 rebellion has taken over territories north of Goma. The DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting it, which is corroborated by UN experts and Western countries, but Kigali denies this.

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