Anti-United Nations demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have turned deadly, with at least 15 people reportedly killed, as civil unrest brews in the country’s North Kivu province against what protestors say is a lack of action taken by peacekeepers to protect the region from waring rebel and Islamic insurgency groups.
??#DRCongo #Goma locals have looted and attacked #UN bases in the city and airport. This is the culmination end of Western influenced organisations which are working against the interests of those they need to protect. #MONUSCO = incompetence and corruption = #UN pic.twitter.com/YunakeLDYm
— Gabrian (@511ZGS) July 25, 2022
On Monday, crowds blocked roads and gathered at a United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) warehouse in the provincial capital of Goma, which eventually resulted in crowds storming and looting the facility. UN staff were evacuated by helicopter as peacekeepers attempted to hold back crowds, firing warning shots and deploying tear gas. At some point, one of the protestors was reported to have been fatally shot during the incident.
#DRC #Goma Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets town this Monday, July 25, 2022 to demand the departure of @MONUSCO in #DRC, in response to the call of the President of the Senate @PLukwebo and the ruling party #UDPS. Looting scenes were recorded at UN bases. pic.twitter.com/cd8kBOIWnb
— Baraka MUNYAMPFURA Héritier (@HeritierBarak) July 25, 2022
In a response to the incident, a MONUSCO spokesman stated that “One of our warehouses was attacked by protesters early this morning. They entered one of our bases and looted the equipment. They managed to enter a few offices, we are obviously appalled and shocked by this.”
This was echoed by acting head MONUSCO, Khassim Diagne, who added “The incidents in Goma are not only unacceptable but totally counterproductive. MONUSCO is mandated by the Security Council to support the authorities in protecting civilians.”
— MONUSCO (@MONUSCO) July 26, 2022
On Tuesday, protests and violence continued in Goma, as well as spreading to the nearby towns of Beni and Butembo, where clashes have killed several others and wounded dozens. The MONUSCO confirmed that one UN peacekeeper and two UN police officers were killed in Butembo following an attack against a UN base there. National goverment and local police officials have also reported that 12 protestors were killed in clashes in Goma and Butemo, while 50 were wounded. Officials did not specify if the protestors were killed by peacekeepers or local security forces.
In butembo, The demonstrators have just recovered 3 weapons from MONUSCO and 3 dead on the MONUSCO side! pic.twitter.com/z99m2EHwwj
— Manzi Willy (@RealManziWilly) July 26, 2022
UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that “Mobs are throwing stones and petrol bombs, breaking into bases, looting and vandalising, and setting facilities on fire,” adding “The situation is very volatile and reinforcements are being mobilised.”