The Southern African Development Community (SADC) expresses its deep concern and strongly condemns the attacks on civilians and the resultant violent demonstrations against United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) peacekeepers.
The attacks in Beni have resulted in the deaths of approximately 80 people, as well as the injury and displacement of many people. SADC is resolute in voicing its condemnation of the attacks that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continue to perpetrate on the civilian population in the DRC. SADC expresses its condolences to the Government and the People of DRC, as well as the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks, and wishes those that were injured full and speedy recovery.
As a result of the attacks, the response to the deadly Ebola Virus Disease has also been disrupted. This poses a huge risk of Ebola spreading beyond the current epicentre of the disease, which may lead to more deaths.
SADC calls upon the Government of the DRC to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilians, and end the violence perpetrated on peacekeepers.
SADC also urges all civilians in Beni to remain calm, submit their grievances through established formal channels, and allow the resolution of their grievances through dialogue to enable MONUSCO peacekeepers, the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) and the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) to carry out operations against negative forces, including ADF, to stabilise the country and the region.
SADC reaffirms its continued commitment to support the DRC to restore peace and tranquillity and enable the country to return to political normalcy.
H.E. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and
Chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation