A United Nations peacekeeper from South Africa was killed and another wounded in an attack on their helicopter in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, the organisation said.
The aircraft came under fire at around 3:00 pm (1200 GMT) during a flight to Goma, the provincial capital of Nord-Kivu province, where it was able to land, a spokesman told AFP.
The source of the fire that struck the helicopter was not yet known and its precise location had yet to be determined, said Amadou Ba, a spokesman for the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).
South Africa’s military also confirmed the incident.
“An Oryx helicopter came under fire in Goma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday February 5, 2023,” the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said in a statement.
“A crew member was fatally shot, another suffered injuries but managed to continue flying the chopper and landed safely at Goma Airport.
“The SANDF is in the process of informing family members of the soldiers who were involved in this unfortunate incident.”
MONUSCO chief Bintou Keita said she “strongly condemns this cowardly attack on an aircraft bearing the UN emblem”, adding that “attacks against peacekeepers can constitute a war crime”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Congolese authorities “to investigate this heinous attack and swiftly bring those responsible to justice”, said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric in a statement.