Democratic Republic of Congo

At least 5 killed, dozens wounded in east Congo anti-U.N. protest

At least 5 killed, dozens wounded in east Congo anti-U.N. protest
United Nations peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of Congo, 22 February 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE / STR)

GOMA, July 26 (Reuters) - At least five people were killed and about 50 wounded in anti-United Nations protests in Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern city of Goma on Tuesday, a government spokesman said.

A Reuters reporter saw U.N. peacekeepers shoot two demonstrators dead.

The violence took place on the second day of protests against the peacekeeping mission MONUSCO for failing to protect civilians in a region marred by decades of militia violence.

“At least 5 dead, around 50 wounded (in Goma),” government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said in a tweet,

without saying who was responsible.

Hundreds of demonstrators attacked and looted a MONUSCO warehouse in Goma on Monday demanding that the mission leave the country and the protests flared again on Tuesday.

The Reuters reporter at the scene said peacekeepers fired tear gas and live bullets at a largely peaceful crowd, killing two and wounding at least two others.

Army and police officers deployed to the scene did not open fire. A soldier and a policeman in a bulletproof vest were also hit by bullets, he added.

A MONUSCO spokesman was not available for comment.

The mission has been gradually withdrawing for years.

Resurgent clashes between local troops and the M23 rebel group in east Congo have displaced thousands. Attacks by militants linked to Islamic State have also continued despite a year-long state of emergency and joint operations against them by the Congolese and Ugandan armies.

MONUSCO – the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo – took over an earlier peacekeeping operation in 2010.

It had over 12,000 troops and 1,600 police deployed in Congo as of November 2021.

By Djaffar Sabiti

(Reporting by Djaffar Sabiti; Additional reporting by Sofia Christensen and Aaron Ross in Dakar, Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Estelle Shirbon, Bhargav Acharya and Angus MacSwan)


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