KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) January 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — MONUSCO strongly condemns the attacks on civilians by armed groups in several remote villages in Shabunda territory of South Kivu Province.
During 1 and 4 January 2012, MONUSCO received reports that about 45 civilians were killed and at least 50 were injured by the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in two attacks. Population would have been displaced as a result of these attacks.
On 5 January, MONUSCO organized the air evacuation of 13 severely injured civilians, to Bukavu general hospital, in collaboration with humanitarian agencies. On 8 January, MONUSCO evacuated 6 more severely wounded civilians, the evacuees included 7 children.
MONUSCO has increased its presence over the affected areas through aerial monitoring and the establishment of standing patrols at LUBIMBE-II, KATSHUNGU and KINGLUBE. The mission is engaged with the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) to consider an increased presence of FARDC in these areas.
The affected areas are remote and access is difficult but MONUSCO continues to monitor developments. An assessment mission will take place as soon as security conditions on the ground allow it.
MONUSCO remains committed to its protection of civilians mandate and calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to bring the perpetrators to justice.