UNITED NATIONS-- The United Nations (UN) Special Investigation into deadly attacks on Tanzanian UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), late last year, reveals that they were carried out by the Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.

According to a statement released by the UN, available evidence points to ADF as the attacker.

On Jan 5, the Secretary-General announced the establishment of a special investigation led by former Assistant- Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Dmitry Titov, to investigate a series of attacks against UN peacekeepers in the Beni territory of North Kivu Province, DRC.

Also, the special team was tasked to investigate the Dec 7, 2017 attack in which 15 UN peacekeepers from Tanzania were killed at their base in Semuliki, that saw 43 being wounded, with one still missing; the investigation also covered two earlier attacks against UN peacekeepers from Tanzania in nearby Mamundioma on Sept 16 and Oct 7, 2017.

"The Special Investigation team concluded that the three attacks against the UN peacekeepers were carried out using a similar modus operandi (method of operation) and that all available evidence points to ADF as the attacker," reads part of the report."The team found a number of gaps in the training and posture of MONUSCO and its Force Intervention Brigade (FIB)," the report pointed out.

Also, the team noted that the Mission did not have an actionable contingency plan to reinforce and extract its peacekeepers during the attack. Issues of commandand- control, leadership and lack of essential enablers such as aviation, engineersand intelligence were also major obstacles and need to be addressed urgently.

The Special Investigation team, which included military and security experts, political and logistical officers and two senior officers of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF), aimed to establish the circumstances leading to the attacks, evaluate MONUSCO's response and determine actions needed to prevent such attacks from occurring again.

The team recommends that MONUSCO, UNHQ and troopcontributing countries should actively pursue a strategy aimed at rendering the FIB more robust, agile and better suited for offensive operations, especially in remote and difficult terrains.

The investigators also urged a reinforced engagement with regional political actors and stakeholders to better understand and tackle the threat posed by the ADF.

Based on the findings of the Special Investigation team, MONUSCO has updated its Action Plan on Improving Security of Peacekeepers, which was developed in response to the General Santos Cruz's report, to include its recommendations specific to the Semuliki and Mamundioma incidents.

It was the bloodiest attack against MONUSCO, the UN force deployed in DR Congo since 1999 and the worst against a UN force since the death of 24 Pakistani peacekeepers in Somalia in June 1993, leading to a special UN investigation.

Speaking during the ceremony, last year, in honour of the fallen soldiers, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa called upon UN to investigate the incident. The Tanzanian government is asking the United Nations to conduct a thorough, transparent and genuine investigation, said Prime Minister Majaliwa. He added: We hope that the United Nations will do this quickly.