UNITED NATIONS, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Friday strongly condemned the attacks on the United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which killed an Indian peacekeeping soldier, and called for government efforts to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.
"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attacks by the M23 rebel group on United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) peacekeepers in North Kivu on July 5, as part of an ongoing offensive in the area, which resulted in the death of an Indian soldier in Bunagana as well as the displacement of thousands of civilians and deaths of DRC forces," the council said in a press statement.
"They expressed their sympathy to the family of the victim and MONUSCO staff, as well as to the government of India," the statement said.
The Council called upon the DRC government to bring perpetrators to justice, and demanded the M23 and all armed groups immediately cease all forms of violence.
Serving with the MONUSCO, the Indian contingent of the UN peacekeeping force had been in Bunagana, in the province of North Kivu this week, when the soldier was caught in a cross-fire in clashes between the DRC's armed forces and a rebel group known as the M23.
The eastern provinces of North and South Kivu in DRC have witnessed increased fighting between government troops and the M23, which is composed of renegade soldiers who mutinied in April and are led by Bosco Ntaganda.
The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, including many who have fled to neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Earlier on Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he deeply regretted the death of a United Nations peacekeeper killed in the armed clash on Thursday.
The secretary-general also expressed his serious concern about the situation in eastern DRC, and called for an immediate end to all violence perpetrated by armed groups.
Also on Friday, Navi Pillay, UN high commissioner for human rights, described the M23 group as being led by a "particularly notorious group of human rights violators."
In late June, the Security Council extended MONUSCO for another year, with protecting civilians as its priority mandate. It also urged the authorities to reform their security sector and end armed insurgencies and human rights abuses in the country.
MONUSCO supports the DRC authorities in their stabilization and peace consolidation efforts, including assisting with the holding of elections, the monitoring of human rights violations and support for government action against armed groups operating in the eastern part of the African country.