New York, US - Ms. Mary Robinson, the UN Special Envoy for Africa's Great Lakes region, on Saturday condemned the armed rebel attack on a UN helicopter in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), calling the act 'unacceptable'.
'I learnt with deep concern that a United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) helicopter came under direct fire from positions held by the M23 rebel movement in the Rumangabo region,' Ms. Robinson said in a statement, obtained by PANA in New York.
She stated: 'I strongly condemn this serious incident that threatens the security of MONUSCO personnel.'
'I wish to remind the M23 leadership that any act aimed at obstructing MONUSCO in the exercise of its mandate, as stipulated by the United Nations Security Council resolution 2098, is unacceptable,' she noted.
MONUSCO is tasked with the protection of civilians in the DRC.
In March, the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within the Mission to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC.
Also, the head of MONUSCO, Mr. Martin Kobler, condemned the attack and reiterated the Mission's determination to continue its operations.
In the past year, clashes have continued sporadically throughout the DRC's eastern region, with rebels briefly occupying the main city, Goma, in November 2012.
The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region which includes 2.6 million internally-displaced persons and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.