UN condemns DR Congo rebel seizure of Goma

21 Nov

21 November 2012

The M23 rebels are believed to be backed by neighbouring Rwanda

The UN Security Council has backed a resolution calling for sanctions against leaders of rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The resolution, adopted unanimously, came hours after the rebels seized the eastern city of Goma.

The rebels met little resistance from the army or UN peacekeepers.

In its resolution, the Security Council demanded an end to foreign support for the M23 rebels and expressed readiness to take appropriate measures.

After M23 fighters entered Goma, the leaders of DR Congo and Rwanda, Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame, flew to Uganda for talks, amid claims that Rwanda was backing the rebels.

Mr Kabila has urged people to “resist” the rebels, who launched their rebellion seven months ago.

But there was no resistance from the nearly 1,500 UN peacekeepers in the city, which lies two hours’ drive away from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.

A UN spokesman said its peacekeepers had held their fire as rebels took the city to avoid triggering a battle, putting civilians at risk.

In the resolution, proposed by France, the members of the Security Council strongly condemned the rebel seizure of Goma and asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to look into reports that external support had greatly increased the rebels’ military capability.

They have already imposed sanctions on the head of the M23 rebel group and are planning to target more leadership figures, BBC UN correspondent Barbara Plett reports.

Goma is the main city in resource-rich eastern DR Congo and is the main point for processing minerals coming out of the country.

Source: BBC

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