Belgium condemns the violence in the Eastern DRC and calls for its cessation

Belgium expresses its concern about the deterioration of the security situation in the Eastern DRC in recent days, condemns the violence and calls for its cessation.

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Belgium strongly condemns the attacks against MONUSCO installations, particularly in Goma, Beni and Butembo, and deplores the death of three MONUSCO peacekeepers as well as the injury of an Egyptian peacekeeper. Security incidents during the demonstrations also left several civilians dead and many injured. Belgium expresses its condolences to the families and friends of the victims, to MONUSCO and to the countries from which these peacekeepers come from, India and Morocco. We reiterate our full support to the MONUSCO, its mandate and its personnel. Congolese authorities have also condemned these incidents.

Attacks on UN peacekeepers are unacceptable. The Congolese authorities have taken measures to ensure the security of UN personnel, which we welcome in light of the situation. Belgium welcomes the announcement of a joint investigation, which should shed light on those responsible for these attacks. It is important that the authorities and political actors call for appeasement and restraint and refrain from making statements that jeopardize the Blue Helmets and the Mission.

Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib recently had the opportunity to discuss in Brussels the situation in the Eastern DRC with Huang Xia, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region and Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC and Head of MONUSCO, the day after an exchange on the DRC at the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

The exactions of armed groups in the region, which affect the civilian population first and foremost, must absolutely stop. The Congolese population has the right to live in peace and security.

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