KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A member of a U.N. force in the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed during a battle with members of the rebel March 23 Movement, a U.N. mission said.
The U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC, known by its French initials MONUSCO, confirmed a Tanzanian soldier was killed while working alongside national forces to protect civilians in Kiwanja, in the eastern part of the country.
"I condemn emphatically people or groups involved in such actions, which are attempts to prevent us in doing our job: protecting civilians," MONUSCO chief and U.N. Special Envoy for DRC Martin Kobler said in a statement.
Helicopters deployed by MONUSCO were attacked twice by M23 early this month. Kobler said he was particularly concerned by the uptick in violence in the region.
Kobler said last weekend members of the Mai Mai Cheka armed group were likely behind the slaying of 34 civilians in eastern DRC. He said the atrocities committed by the group were "unimaginable."
National and international delegates are working on a peace initiative from neighboring Uganda. Kobler said all parties to the conflict in DRC needed to take the peace effort to heart.
"I am serious in our efforts to protect civilians and neutralize all armed groups to bring back peace and stability," he said.