Death toll rises to 14 in bombing on IDP camps in eastern DRC

Kinshasa, May 5 (UNI) At least 14 people were killed and 35 others injured, mainly women and children, after rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23) dropped “around 10” bombs on Friday on three sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a local official said on Saturday.

The toll could still go up in the attack, on the IDP sites in the Lac Vert, Lushagala, and Mugunga neighbourhoods of Goma, capital of the eastern province of North Kivu, said Peter Chirimwami, the military governor of North Kivu.

Angele Dikongue-Atangana, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) representative to the DRC, said late Friday that 12 people were killed in the bombing.

The DRC government blamed the attacks on rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23), who have engaged in fighting with the DRC military and gained control of territories in North Kivu.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, who was visiting Europe, cut short his trip following the bombing.

“I guarantee we will win this fight whatever it takes,” Tshisekedi told Congolese expatriates in Belgium on Friday.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, called on all sides to take appropriate measures to reduce risks to civilians and maintain humanitarian access.

MONUSCO is expected to leave the DRC no later than the end of 2024, by handing over UN bases and equipment to DRC security forces under a three-phase departure plan.

“I reiterate the call of the United Nations secretary-general to all armed groups in eastern DRC to cease all hostilities immediately, to lay down their arms unconditionally, and to join the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Community Rehabilitation and Stabilisation Program,” Bintou Keita, the head of MONUSCO, said in a statement released late Friday.

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