United Nations, Nov 19

The UN Security Council, whose presidency for this month is being held by India, has strongly condemned attacks by the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), RIA Novosti reported.

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemn the resumption of attacks by the M23 and demand their immediate cessation," read a statement by India's Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri.

The statement was adopted following a closed-door meeting at which members were briefed on the latest developments by Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

The Council also urged M23 rebels to stop their advance towards provincial capital Goma, according to the BBC, and said outside support for the rebels should end.

The rebels Saturday seized the town of Kibumba, around 30 km from Goma, capital of North Kivu province bordering Rwanda. The Congolese armed forces retreated as the rebels were armed with heavy weapons and supported by Rwandan troops, the BBC quoted North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku as saying.

The M23 "launched attacks in Kibumba, Mboga and Ruhondo hills in the province of North Kivu using heavy weapons", the UN said citing a press release by the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (Monusco).


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