M23 rebels in DR Congo warned against firing on UN helicoptersListen /
The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has warned M23 rebels against firing at its helicopters in the eastern part of the country.
MONUSCO says that in December the rebels have fired twice at unarmed utility helicopters that are routinely used for medical evacuation for both United Nations personnel and civilians.
According to the mission, on 26 December two of its helicopters were 20 kilometres north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, undertaking a routine flying certification when they were fired upon.
It says the helicopters were from Kibumba and Kanyamahoro, two localities under M23 control when they were deliberately targeted.
The mission reminds everyone that peacekeepers are in the exclusive service of peace and that any attack against them constitutes a war crime.
MONUSCO says those responsible for attacking peacekeepers will be prosecuted and brought to justice.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations