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06:55, 29 May 2017 Monday
10:40, 07 December 2016 Wednesday

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UN concerned about escalating DRC violence
UN concerned about escalating DRC violence

Clashes between army, insurgent group led to 31 deaths in central Congo this past weekend

World Bulletin / News Desk

The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) late Tuesday expressed deep concern over the escalation of violence in the central part of the country after the deaths of 31 people last weekend.

"MONUSCO strongly condemns violence from whatever quarter, and remains concerned at the increasing levels of violence in the Kasai and Kasai-Central provinces and reaffirms its commitment to supporting the authorities in restoring State authority and bringing calm,” said Maman Sidikou, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the DRC.

The UN also extended its condolences to the families of the victims and condemned human rights abuses that have been committed in the region.

"A MONUSCO multidisciplinary team will be traveling to Tshikapa in the coming days to assess the situation and meet with local authorities with a view to supporting them in enhancing security measures,” the statement added.

At least 31 people were killed in clashes between Congolese forces and an insurgent group over the weekend in central DRC on Monday.

Hubert Mbingo N'vula, Kasai-Central province's deputy governor, said 13 soldiers and 18 militiamen had been killed. 

Some 15 Congolese soldiers were also wounded as a result of the clashes that began Saturday.

The DRC has been hit by violence for over two decades during which the Congolese army and local self-defense groups have been fighting various militia groups in the eastern part of the country. 


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Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution
Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution

The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on Saturday. Washington accuses the group of being behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communique Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.