11th December, 2017
China on Monday condemned an attack on UN peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Dec. 9, in which 15 Tanzanian blue helmets were killed.
53 others were wounded in the raid on a base in Congo.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks at a daily news briefing.
He mourned the victims and expressed condolences to their families.
The attack on Dec. 9 by suspected Allied Democratic Forces rebels took place in North Kivu province in the eastern part of the DRC.
It was the worst attack on a peacekeeping mission in nearly 25 years, and 53 other peacekeepers were also wounded.
“China is willing to continue to work with the international community, to play a positive role in peacefully solving the DRC issue and maintaining peace and stability of Africa,’’ Lu said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the attack constituted a war crime and called on Congolese authorities to investigate and “swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice”.
“I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at last night’s attack,” Guterres told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.
“There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else.”
The UN Security Council condemned the attack on Friday and held a moment of silence for the victims.
The ADF is an Islamist rebel group that has been active in the area.
Congo’s UN mission, said it was coordinating a joint response with the Congolese army and evacuating wounded from the base.
The mission said five Congolese soldiers were also killed.
Congo’s army said only one of its soldiers was missing, however, while another had been injured, adding that 72 militants had been killed.
Rival militia groups control parts of mineral-rich eastern Congo nearly a decade and a half after the official end of a 1998 to 2003 war in which millions of people died, mostly from hunger and disease.
The area has been the scene of repeated massacres and at least 26 people died in an ambush in October.
Increased militia activity in the east and centre of the country has added to insecurity in Congo this year amid political tensions linked to President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down when his mandate expired last December.
An election to replace Kabila, who has ruled Congo since his father’s assassination in 2001, has been repeatedly delayed and is now scheduled for December 2018.
Established in 2010, the mission is the UN’s largest peacekeeping mission and had recorded 93 fatalities of military, police and civilian personnel.