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India calls for global response to fight terror Tsunami in Congo

Earlier this week, the rebels had shot down a UN helicopter in North Kivu which resulted in the death of eight peacekeepers (Image courtesy: Twitter/@MONUSCO)

As the second largest troop contributor to the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) with over 2000 personnel, India has expressed concern over the increasing activities of armed groups in the eastern region of Congo which present a grave threat to efforts to improve regional stability.

Earlier this week, the rebels had shot down a MONUSCO helicopter in North Kivu which resulted in the death of eight UN peacekeepers.

"The persistent violence and insecurity in the DRC's eastern provinces, mainly in Ituri, Grand Nord area in North Kivu; and parts of South Kivu, is a cause of concern. CODECO, ADF and other armed groups continue to be active, killing scores of civilians, attacking government security forces and UN peacekeepers," Mijito Vinito, First Secretary at India's Permanent Mission to the UN told the Security Council recently. 

India highlighted that the Islamic State Central Africa Province had also claimed responsibility for the December 25 IED attack in Beni, which had the bearings of a typical terror attack.

"The established links of ADF (Islamist rebel group Allied Democratic Forces) to terror groups and the potential spread of terrorism to the Central African region is a cause for concern. The DRC authorities have been raising the issue of presence of terrorists operating under the cover of FDLR and ADF in Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema. This needs to be taken seriously," added Vinito.  

India’s peacekeeping contributions to Congo date back to 1960 when the peacekeepers from the country helped in orderly withdrawal of colonial forces and establishment of a national government. Since then, 51 Indian soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice, the highest by any Troop Contributing Country (TCC) in keeping the peace in Congo.

"We welcome the enhanced regional efforts between the DRC, Uganda, and Rwanda to combat armed groups in eastern DRC. We also underscore the critical need of regular tripartite coordination between MONUSCO, UPDF and FARDC during the military operations, especially at the tactical level," said the Indian representative.

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