Foreign NewsBlog

Demonstrators overrun a UN post in a city in eastern DR Congo

Demonstrators overrun a UN post in a city in eastern DR Congo

Demonstrators overrun a UN post in a city in eastern DR Congo

On Monday, protesters surrounded a UN facility in the eastern Congolese city of Goma, looted items, and demanded that the soldiers leave the area.

Hundreds of protesters shut down traffic and yelled anti-UN chants before bursting into the UN peacekeeping mission’s headquarters in Goma, a significant North Kivu provincial economic centre.

An AFP correspondent saw the protestors shatter windows and steal laptops, furniture, and other goods from the headquarters while UN police forces shot tear gas to try to drive them away.

Some UN representatives were rescued from the occupied offices by helicopters.

On the outskirts of the city, protesters also overran a UN logistics facility, where a student was wounded in the leg.

Locals often criticize MONUSCO, the UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for what they believe to be its failure to put an end to violence in the region’s conflict-torn east.

The unstable area, where mass killings of civilians are frequent and war has driven millions of people from their homes, is home to more than 120 armed factions.

The Goma youth chapter of the governing UDPS party issued a statement the day before the demonstration calling for MONUSCO to “withdraw from Congolese land without conditions since it has already shown its inability to provide us with safety.”

Following the protest, Khassim Diagne, the UN secretary general’s deputy special representative to MONUSCO, said that “the occurrences in Goma are not only reprehensible, but absolutely counter-productive,” adding that the troops were stationed in the area to protect people.

The individuals who had infiltrated the facility, he said to AFP, were “looters.” He said, “We condemn them in the greatest terms.

“What are they doing here still?”

The demonstration was in response to Modeste Bahati, the head of the Congolese senate, telling supporters in Goma on July 15 that MONUSCO should “pack its bags.”

Interviewed demonstrators by AFP on Monday seemed to concur with the idea.

Why are they still here if they said they lacked the strength to combat the M23? a motorcycle taxi driver named Shadrac Kambale mentioned a freshly revived militia.

The organization started fighting again in November of last year after being mostly inactive for years.

Since then, the rebels have made considerable gains in eastern Congo, taking control of towns like Bunagana on the Ugandan border in North Kivu.

“We don’t want to see MONUSCO marching in the streets of Goma, we don’t even want to see their aircraft flying over,” Sankara Bin, another demonstrator, told AFP.

In 1999, the UN sent its first observation team to the eastern Congo. In 2010, it was given the authority to carry out offensive operations and was renamed MONUSCO, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to the UN, it now has a strength of roughly 16,300 uniformed troops, and there have been 230 deaths among them.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button
WP Radio
WP Radio