Fifteen people, including three peacekeepers, were killed in the second day of anti-UN protests in eastern Congo. Many people were injured in the violence yesterday local time. Al-Jazeera news.
Demonstrations erupted on the streets of Goma, the capital of the country's North Kivu province, on Monday to protest against the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUSCO). The protestors alleged that the mission was unable to stop the activities of the armed groups for decades. Protests also spread to the northern part of Beni city and Butembu on Tuesday. Congolese government spokesman Patrick Muaya said five people were killed and 50 injured in the violence in Goma. And Butembu's local police chief, Paul Ngoma, said seven civilians were killed in the town.
In a statement, the UN peacekeeping mission said three members of the mission were killed in the violence in Butembu. Among them, one is a peacekeeping soldier and the other two are UN police officers.
The United Nations says protesters "violently wrested weapons" from Congolese policemen and opened fire on peacekeepers. They pelted stones and petrol bombs and ransacked and vandalized various establishments.
UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haque said in a statement that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the violence. He said any attack on UN peacekeepers could amount to a war crime. Guterres called on the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and quickly bring those responsible to justice.
According to the news agency Reuters about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India, two of the three peacekeepers killed are Indian citizens. Butembu city police chief said the other peacekeeper killed was a Moroccan citizen.
The United Nations Mission in Congo is one of the largest peacekeeping missions in the world. But the mission is regularly criticized in the eastern part of the country. Many local people complain that the mission is not taking enough measures to stop the bloodshed that has been going on for decades. 120 armed groups are active in the area.