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DR Congo: UN mission condemns killing of dozens of civilians in South Kivu

9 January 2012 – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today strongly condemned attacks against civilians by members of an armed group in remote villages in South Kivu province last week, during which at least 45 people were killed.

The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) said it had received reports that between Sunday and Wednesday last week, about 45 civilians were killed and at least 50 were wounded during a raid in South Kivu’s Shabunda territory by the fighters of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in two attacks.

The attacks are also believed to have resulted in the displacement of people, the mission said in a press release.

On Thursday last week, MONUSCO and relief agencies organized an air evacuation of 13 severely injured civilians to the main hospital in the city of Bukavu. Another six critically wounded survivors were evacuated yesterday, the mission said, adding that the evacuees included seven children.

The peacekeeping mission has stepped up air and ground patrols of the affected areas and is consulting with the national army over the deployment of more Government forces. The region is difficult to access because of its remoteness. An assessment mission will be sent as soon as security conditions allow.

The mission stressed that it remains committed to the protection of civilians and urged the Government to bring perpetrators of the crimes against civilians to justice.

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