World Government helicopters attacked in DR Congo

UN helicopters attacked in DR Congo

Fri, 18 Oct 2013 18:12:50 GMT

M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have shot at two United Nations helicopter nearly one week after a similar incident, a UN source says.

“Two helicopters left on reconnaissance missions this morning…. The pilots of one of the helicopters felt some impacts on the cockpit … and landed” to evaluate the damage, AFP quoted an unnamed source close to the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) as saying on Friday.

The incident occurred some 15 kilometers (10 miles) north of the violence-stricken Goma, the capital city of North Kivu Province.

No injuries were reported and the helicopter reportedly returned to base.

In a similar incident last week, M23 rebels shot at a UN helicopter with reports of no injury.

The M23 was founded by former Tutsi rebels who were incorporated into the Congolese army under a 2009 peace deal.

The M23 rebels and several other armed groups are active in the eastern Congo and are fighting for control of the country’s vast mineral resources, such as gold, the main tin ore, cassiterite, and coltan (columbite-tantalite), which is used to make many electronic devices, including cellphones.

Since early May 2012, nearly three million people have fled their homes in eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but about 500,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.

Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead.

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