Death of UN peacekeeper and police officer in DRC condemned

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Input operators in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) receive electoral kits from the office of the Independent Electoral Commission. The material will be deployed to the different electoral centres in Goma. Photo: MONUSCO/Alain Wandimoyi

The killing of a UN peacekeeper from South Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

The UN chief expressed his deepest condolences to family of the deceased, who died during an exchange of fire with suspected fighters from the so-called Mayi-Mayi militia, in the east of the country.

Tensions are high across the country due to the expiration on Monday of President Joseph Kabila's second and final term in office.

Matthew Wells has more.

The Secretary-General called on the DRC to ensure a full investigation into the attack and that its perpetrators were brought to justice.

The head of the UN Mission MONUSCO in the DRC, Maman Sidikou said earlier that the attack in North Kivu province also left two UN peacekeepers injured, and led to the death of a member of the DRC's National Police force.

He also expressed his deepest condolences to the families as well as the governments of DRC and South Africa.

He added that the "heinous attack" would not undermine the commitment and determination of the UN Mission to "fulfil its protection of civilians and neutralization of armed groups" in support of security forces in the DRC.

He said the killing of peacekeepers was a war crime, and perpetrators will be held accountable.

Meanwhile in the capital Kinshasa, the UN reported that the situation remained tense but calm, following President Kabila's decision to defy constitutional term limits, and stay in power beyond midnight on Monday.

Opposition leaders and civil society groups have protested the move.

Here's UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

"The Mission says there is a high security presence in the capital, and has also received reports of arrests of demonstrators in Goma in the country’s east and is following up on these reports.

MONUSCO has also increased its numbers of its day and night patrols in the country and has deployed mobile assessment teams in the main Congolese cities."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'22"

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