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Congo: Attack on Nepalese peacekeepers condemned

DR Congo: Annan condemns attack on Nepalese peacekeepers

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today condemned a recent fatal attack on Nepalese United Nations peacekeepers serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and urged the release of those detained after a confrontation with armed militias.

“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened at the death of a Nepalese peacekeeper, and the wounding of three other Nepalese peacekeepers, serving with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), on 28 May in the area of Tsupu in the Ituri district,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns this attack, and the capture of seven Nepalese peacekeepers by armed groups, and calls for their immediate release,” he said, stressing that “those responsible for these acts should be held accountable.”

The statement, which extended condolences to those affected, mirrored comments made by Mr. Annan himself during a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York honouring fallen peacekeepers.

It also echoed the Security Council’s condemnation of the attack in a statement to the press on Tuesday evening. “MONUC troops presently detained must be released without delay,” declared Pascal Gayama of the Republic of the Congo, which holds the presidency for the month of May. “Those who detain them shall be held responsible for anything that might happen to them.”

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