GOMA: UN investigators said on Wednesday that they did not rule out any route from their investigation into the death of eight UN peacekeepers in a helicopter crash in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, but one lead was the “shining object” that caused the incident.
Six Pakistanis, one Russian and one Serb were killed when a Puma helicopter, along with UN mission MONUSCO, crashed while performing a reconnaissance mission in the affected area.
MONUSCO said the bodies of eight peacekeepers were moved to Goma, the capital of North Kivu.
Pakistan Army Media Wing said of the incident: “A Puma helicopter crashed during a reconnaissance mission in Congo. The exact cause of the accident is not yet known,” he said. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the six martyred Pakistani peacekeepers were Lieutenant Colonel Asif Ali Awan, Major Pilot Saad Nomani, Major Pilot Faizan Ali, Naib Subedar Sami Ullah Khan, Flight Engineer Havaldar Muhammad Ismail and Crew Chief Lance Havaldar Muhamad. I did. Jamil, Gunner.
In a statement, ISPR added that Pakistan has always played a pivotal role as a responsible member of the international community to realize the ideals of world peace and security through active support of the UN’s various peacekeeping missions.
Military authorities in the northern Kivu province have accused the M23 rebels of shooting down the helicopter, but the faction has denied the allegations and instead blamed the Congolese forces.
“Early preliminary observations at our unit’s headquarters account for the collision caused by the glowing object,” Khassim Diagne, deputy minister for protection and security at MONUSCO, told French radio broadcast. RFI.
Mission spokesperson Ndeye Khady Lo confirmed the account. “Helicopter wreckage has been found and an investigation is ongoing,” she said. “We may find out more about the nature of this object.”
Although the accident appears to have an ‘external’ cause, she stressed, it is ‘premature’ to rule out an accident.
Diagne notes: RFIInvestigators said they did not rule out any scenarios involving “attacks.”
The helicopter crashed the day before in the Chenzu region of Russuru Territory, where the army and M23 rebels were fighting.
The M23 (its name derives from the “March 23rd Movement”) emerged a few years ago from the Tutsi Congolese rebels in northern Kivu with support from Rwanda and Uganda. The group was defeated by the military in 2013, but has resurfaced since November and is accused of conducting several airstrikes on military bases around Rutshuru.
The clashes occurred after Congolese military accused Rwanda of supporting the M23, which Kigali denied on Tuesday.
After months of suspicion and decades of distrust between the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring Rwanda, Congolese forces claimed on Monday that they had arrested two Rwandan soldiers in combat zones.
Posted at Serb on March 31, 2022