UNITED NATIONS, November 18 (RIA Novosti) - The UN Security Council has strongly condemned new attacks by the M23 rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN reported.
“The members of the Security Council strongly condemn the resumption of attacks by the M23 and demand their immediate cessation,” runs a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India, which holds the Council's presidency for this month, after an emergency Council session on Saturday.
The statement was adopted following a closed-door meeting at which members were briefed on the latest developments by Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
The Council also urged M23 rebels to stop their advance towards provincial capital Goma, according to the BBC, and said outside support for the rebels should end.
The rebels on Saturday seized the town of Kibumba, which is some 20 miles from Goma, the capital of North Kivu province bordering Rwanda. The Congolese armed forces retreated as the rebels were armed with heavy weapons and supported by Rwandan troops, the BBC quoted North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku as saying.
Early on Saturday, the M23 “launched attacks in Kibumba, Mboga and Ruhondo hills in the province of North Kivu using heavy weapons,” the UN said citing a press release by the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (Monusco).
Monusco responded to the attacks by deploying its peacekeepers between the towns of Kibumba and Kibati in line with its mandate to protect civilians. It also carried out 10 missions with the help of attack helicopters, the UN said.