World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Blue Helmets in Congo on Standby after Blast in Arms Depot

UN 'Blue Helmets' in DR Congo on Standby after Blast in Arms Depot

New York, Jan 25 2014 - The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is standing by to support local authorities following an explosion at an ammunition depot.

The blast occurred on Friday when a lightning strike apparently sparked a fire in a military barrack in Mbuji Mayi, one of the DRC's largest cities.

"Over 20 people died, more than 50 were injured and many houses destroyed by the blast, causing desolation in the city," according to today's statement from the UN peacekeeping mission known by its French acronym, MONUSCO.

MONUSCO head and Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Martin Kobler, expressed his deep sadness by the loss of lives and extended his condolences to the families who lost loved ones.

"I wish a speedy recovery to all the injured," he said, adding "I have instructed our office in Mbuji Mayi to stand by and support local authorities in dealing with the situation".

One of the main objectives of MONUSCO peacekeepers, also known as "blue helmets", as mandated by the Security Council, is to assist the Government in protecting civilians in the country.

In a Newsmaker interview with the UN News Centre earlier this month, Mr. Kobler stressed the importance of a political solution to addressing the underlying causes of violence in the DRC and the overall Great Lakes region.

"The region of the Great Lakes has to integrate more economically above all for the benefit of all populations in the different countries," he said. "Everybody has to be convinced that stability, economic integration, regional political integration, confidence-building between the States -- this is the right way to go in the long-term."

For more details go to UN News Centre at


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: US Bomb Strikes Hospital In Kunduz

According to US military sources, “there may have been collateral damage” to the medical facility. “This incident is under investigation.” A statement issued by the office of the President Ashraf Ghani said that Army General John Campbell, chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, apologised. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fall Of Tony Abbott

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs... More>>



Pacific.Scoop: Smaller Pacific States Call For Coal Moratorium

PNG Loop: Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations – especially the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change. They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news