At the border with Rwanda, a resident of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), collects water from Lake Kivu. Photo: MONUSC

Following clashes on Wednesday between the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, a senior United Nations official has called on both sides to restore calm in the border area of Kibumba.

Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General?s Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO), called for a de-escalation of tensions and a halt to any further acts of violence.

?I appeal for calm from both sides and urge them to take immediate steps to re-establish security in the border area,? Mr. Kobler said in a news release, in which he also deplored the loss of life during the clashes.

MONUSCO called on the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the incident. The Mechanism is a technical body, comprising military experts from both DRC and Rwanda, and supported by the African Union and the UN, to address DRC-Rwanda border security issues, amongst other tasks.

?I also encourage both sides to re-engage on resolving border demarcation issues through peaceful means,? stated Mr. Kobler.

He added that MONUSCO continues to stand ready to support any initiative that would restore stability in the area.

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