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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to investigate deadly attacks by armed groups in Jugu, Ituri province, on Sunday.

At least 38 civilians, including women and children, have been killed in attacks by the Congolese Development Cooperative (CODECO) on Blackboard mining.

When the attackers set fire to the nearby village of Malika, where they also reportedly raped six women, they were displaced and missing.

A UN mission in the country, known by the French acronym MONUSCO, carried out a medical evacuation on Monday, taking seriously wounded civilians to medical facilities in the capital of the province of Bunia.

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The Secretary-General expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the victims, said UN spokesman Stefan Dujarric.

“He calls on the Kang authorities to investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice. The Secretary-General also urges the authorities to ensure the immediate, free and unimpeded access of MONUSCO to the areas of attack in order to promote efforts to protect the civilian population, ”the statement said.

The head of the UN also called on all armed groups in the DRC to stop their “soulless attacks” on civilians.

Combatants were also urged to unconditionally participate in the political process in the country and lay down their arms as part of a disarmament, demobilization, reconstruction and community stabilization program.

Mr Guterres emphasized the UN’s continued support for the Congolese Government and people in their efforts for peace and stability.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN News.

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