At least 15 killed in anti-UN protests in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo | UN News

At least 15 people were killed on the second day of anti-UN protests in the restive northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said.

Protests erupted on Monday as crowds took to the streets of the main city of Goma in North Kivu province against the United Nations mission in the country – the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) – which they accuse of failing to stop armed groups for decades. old fight.

The demonstrations spread north to the towns of Beni and Butembo on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, government spokesman Patrick Moaya said five people had been killed in Goma and about 50 wounded.

Local police chief Colonel Paul Nujoma said seven civilians were killed in Butembo.

The United Nations mission in a statement.

The UN says protesters “violently extracted weapons” from Congolese police and fired on peacekeepers.

Translation: A blue helmet and two United Nations police officers were killed this Tuesday in Butembo (#North Kivu) during an attack on the base of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The attackers violently grabbed the weapons to the Palestinian National Council [Congolese National Police] And they fired on the peacekeepers.

“The mobs are throwing rocks and petrol bombs, storming bases, looting, vandalizing and burning facilities,” deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York City.

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He said that UN peacekeepers and UN police personnel were killed when their base in Butembo was attacked.

“The situation is very volatile and reinforcements are being mobilized,” Haq said, adding that the UN forces had been told to exercise maximum restraint and to fire only warning shots.

Earlier, Maaya said on Twitter that security forces had fired “warning shots” at protesters to stop attacks on UN staff.

A protester kicks a tear gas canister during a protest against a peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at United Nations facilities in Goma. [Michel Lunanga/AFP]

MONUSCO is one of the largest peacekeeping operations in the world. But it has regularly come under fire in the turbulent East, with many accusing it of failing to do enough to end the decades-old bloodshed.

More than 120 armed groups roam the volatile region, where civilian massacres and conflict engulf millions of people.

In Monday’s unrest, hundreds of people in Goma blocked roads and chanted hostile slogans before storming the headquarters of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and a supply base there.

Protesters smashed windows and looted valuables, while helicopters airlifted UN staff from the building and security forces fired tear gas in an attempt to drive them away.

Congolese security forces pushed back a crowd outside the facility, with some protesters holding placards reading “Goodbye, MONUSCO”.

At the CBCA Ndosho hospital in Goma, head of administration Serge Kilombero told AFP that 28 people were shot on Monday and eight more on Tuesday.

In Beni, 350 kilometers (217 miles) to the north, soldiers deployed on the road to the Monosco base there on Tuesday, while protesters burned tires. Shops, markets and gas stations were closed.

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In nearby Butembo, security forces dispersed protesters who had gathered in front of the base of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), witnesses said.

Nujoma, the local police chief, said some of the young men were “armed”.

A Congolese policeman and a peacekeeper from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) attempt to stop protesters inside a UN peacekeeping force depot compound in Goma, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Congolese security forces repelled a crowd outside the facility [Arlette Bashizi/Reuters]

The latest protests come after Senate President Modeste Bahati Lukwebo told his supporters in Goma on July 15 that the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) should “pack its bags”.

The demonstrations coincide with the re-emergence of the March 23rd Movement – an armed group that remained mostly dormant for years before fighting resumed last November.

Since then, the rebels have made significant advances in eastern Congo, including capturing the town of Bunagana in North Kivu on the Ugandan border.

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