Two Peacekeepers Injured As MONUSCO Accuses M23 Of Shooting Helicopter In North kivu

Two peacekeepers attached to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) were on Friday evening injured after their helicopter that was flying in North Kivu province was shot at.   

The Oryx helicopter was en-route from Rwindi in Nyiragongo territory to Goma Airport when it came under gun fire. 

Bintou Keita, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the DR Congo and Head of MONUSCO released a short statement confirming and condemning the incident.  

According to Keita, the helicopter was on a medical evacuation mission when it was targeted near Karuba in Nyiragongo territory.  Keita argues that the helicopter was targeted by suspected March 23 Movement (M23) rebels).  She adds that despite the attack the helicopter managed to safely land in Goma and the casualties were rushed to the hospital for treatment.  

“A MONUSCO helicopter, on a medical evacuation mission, was targeted near Karuba, territory of Masisi, North Kivu by suspected members of the M23. Two peacekeepers were injured, one seriously,” says Keita in the statement.  

The South African army also released a statement confirming that the injured are troops from its country.  According to the statement, the injured whose identities are yet to be released are the commander of the aircraft and a pilot.   

M23 rebels are yet to respond to the accusations. But, on 30th, January, 2024, the  M23 rebels through their political spokesperson, Lawrence Kanyuka released a statement accusing  MONUSCO  of using its drones to transmit information from M23 positions to the government army.  

Early this week, M23 also accused MONUSCO of joining the fight alongside the government army and coalition by using its combat drones to shell in Rutshuru territory.   

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