UN peacekeepers have for the second time in the past week repelled an attack on their base in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a spokesman said on Thursday.
Suspected members of the Twirwaneho armed group on Wednesday opened fire on the base in Minembwe, in South Kivu province, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Our UN peacekeepers returned fire, forcing the assailants to disperse,” Dujarric told a regular briefing. “There are no casualties among peacekeeping troops. This is the second attack carried out by the group in a week towards the same UN base.”
He said a UN peacekeeper from Pakistan was killed in the September 30 attack, which was strongly condemned by Guterres. The Minembwe base in the tropical highlands of Fizi territory is part of the UN mission in the DRC known as MONUSCO.
The Twirwaneho is one of about 120 armed groups known to be terrorising the eastern DRC.
On Wednesday, the spokesman reported that MONUSCO dispatched a patrol of peacekeepers to join DRC forces in North Kivu province after eight civilians were killed in a raid in Beni territory believed to have been carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group.
Such attacks in the DRC’s mineral-rich eastern provinces have terrorised the civilian population.
Earlier this year, civilians staged demonstrations, some turning deadly, protesting what they said is a lack of protection and failure to halt the violence.