U.N. Copter Raid Kills Five Bystanders
Civilians in the crossfire are gunships strike rebels
In 2012, four Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter gunships joined the 22,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A year later the Mi-24s, plus reinforcement gunships from South Africa, were instrumental in the MONUSCO peacekeeping force’s defeat of the M23 rebel group in mineral-rich, but unstable, eastern Congo.
But all that firepower can be dangerous. On Oct. 8, the governor of Congo’s North Kivu province told AFP that five civilians had died in a U.N. helicopter attack targeting rebel fighters.
Gov. Julien Paluku told AFP by telephone that he had just received confirmation from a delegation that visited the scene of Monday’s attack that “MONUSCO pounded a village essentially made up of civilians” and that “as of today … five civilians were killed.”