U.N. Peacekeepers In Congo Ordered To Protect Civilians [Photo]
The head of the U.N. mission in Congo on Thursday ordered peacekeeping troops to protect civilians following renewed fighting between the army and M23 rebels in the city of Goma. Late last month, the M23 rebels seized control of Goma, a city of one million people on the Rwandan border. Rwanda has a long standing history of strained relations with its neighboring country Congo and has accused the Congolese army of deliberately firing into territory.
Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. mission known as MONUSCO, has taken direct action by ordering “the MONUSCO Force to react and to take necessary action to protect civilians and prevent an advance by the M23.” However, rebel forces reject responsibility for Thursday’s shelling saying the attack was at the hands of Congolese soldiers in an attempt to draw peacekeepers and Rwandan troops into the fight.