DR Congo: UN mission launches operation to protect civilians

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The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has launched a new operation to protect civilians in North Kivu province, the epicenter of the ongoing conflict in eastern DR Congo.

This came after the fighting resumed on Sunday between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the rebel group M23, 70 kilometers north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Monday, MONUSCO said that its “Force Intervention Brigade launched Operation LINDA NJIA (Protect the Road) to maximize the protection of civilians in North-Kivu.”

It added that “MONUSCO and the FARDC (Congolese army) are intensifying field patrols to counter the movements of armed groups.”

According to the United Nations (UN), the protection of civilians in eastern DR Congo remains a major challenge.

Tensions between DR Congo and Rwanda over M23 also flare sporadically, with the Congolese army consistently accusing neighboring Rwanda of arming the rebels.