DRC rebels fire on U.N. peacekeepers

Oct. 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Friday an unarmed helicopter used by the mission was hit by rebel forces.

Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. peacekeeping missions, joined Great Lakes special envoy Mary Robinson in condemning the attack by the rebel March 23 Movement fighting in eastern DRC. They said the unarmed helicopter came under direct fire from M23 rebels in North Kivu province.

Friday's attack is the second such incident in less than a week. The U.N. mission gave no casualty report. U.N. peacekeepers in DRC have a mandate to use force.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during her regular press briefing Thursday former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., was in neighboring Uganda engaged in multilateral efforts to bring peace to DRC.

Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Feingold to serve as a special envoy for the region in June.

Psaki said Washington was taking a wait-and-see approach but said time was of the essence for the 10-month negotiations.

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