In the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been shaken by violence for years, UN peacekeepers have killed at least two people and injured several others. On Sunday, some of the soldiers on the peacekeeping mission opened fire for “unexplained reasons”, the UN mission Monusco said. There have already been arrests.
Video footage shared on online networks from the village of Kasindi in the east of the country near the border with Uganda shows UN soldiers behind a barrier starting to shoot after a verbal altercation with several men.
Joel Kitausa, a civil society leader in Kasindi, told AFP that two people were killed and 14 injured. A government official said in the evening that two people had been killed and 15 others injured.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “sad and dismayed” by the incident and called for clarification. Monusco director Bintou Keita said she was “deeply shocked and appalled by this serious incident”. According to the UN mission, the soldiers’ countries of origin have already been contacted in order to be able to start investigations as soon as possible.
At least 19 people, including three UN soldiers, were killed in protests against the UN mission in DR Congo last week. The protests were directed at what demonstrators perceived as inefficiency of Monusco in its fight against armed groups.
Protesters had attacked several of the mission’s positions. The Monusco is currently deployed with more than 14,000 blue helmets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the UN, 230 blue helmets have died in the operation so far.