Washington [US], July 29 (ANI): The United States on Thursday underscored that attacks against UN personnel and facilities are contrary to international law and lauded the efforts by the Congo government of investigating such attacks.
"The United States underscores that attacks against UN personnel and facilities are contrary to international law. Freedom of expression, including peaceful protest, must be allowed, but not violence," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
This comes after two Indian Peacekeepers were killed in violent Anti-UN protests in Congo.
Two Border Security Force personnel, who were part of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo, were killed on Tuesday during violent protests, a spokesperson for the force said.
The US offers its condolences and deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of those killed as well as to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or MONUSCO and to the UN.
Giving the details about the incident, Price said, "Over the past four days, there have been protests against MONUSCO in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. A number of these protests have turned violent, resulting in the unacceptable and tragic deaths of UN peacekeepers and UN police officers and Congolese protesters."
MONUSCO plays a critical role in fostering peace and security, protecting civilians, and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Price further said that they called on the national and local authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to ensure the protection of MONUSCO sites and personnel and for protesters to express their sentiments peacefully.
"We appreciate the government of the DRC's commitment to investigating these events and holding accountable those responsible," he added.
India is one of the leading T/PCCs (Troop/Police Contributing Countries) to UN peacekeeping missions and has been an active member of the PBC. India's fundamental approach to peacebuilding efforts is anchored in respect for national ownership and developmental priorities of member-states.
India has always played a constructive and significant role in the context of peacebuilding through its extensive development partnership with countries of the Global South. India continues to assist countries through bilateral and multilateral fora in post-conflict situations by providing substantial grants and soft loans.
"Going forward, India will continue to be a force multiplier for peacebuilding efforts. We hope that these efforts will continue to be always driven by a "people-centric" approach," said the Indian envoy.
Meanwhile, the Border Security Force (BSF) Director General and all ranks on Wednesday expressed condolences on the demise of HC Shishupal Singh and HC Sanwala Ram Vishnoi, deployed with the UN Peacekeeping contingent (@MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Both the deceased personnel were from Rajasthan and held the rank of head constable.
Two platoons of the BSF, comprising 70-74 personnel, had been deployed in the area and were inducted in May. (ANI)