The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) was shocked by the latest events in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Antonio Guterres said it himself “more” by the death, Sunday, July 31, of two people when the blue helmets fired at a post on the border with Uganda, in the east of the DRC.
Mr Guterres “remembering with the utmost strength the need to establish responsibility for these events” and approved “The detention of military personnel involved in this incident and the immediate opening of an investigation”said in a press release by a deputy spokesperson for the secretary general, Farhan Haq.
In a video of the incident shared on social networks, we see men, including at least one in police uniform and another in Congolese military uniform, advancing towards the immobilized convoy of on the other side of the closed barrier of Kasindi, in Beni territory. , on the Ugandan border. After a verbal exchange, we see what are believed to be blue helmets firing, before opening the barrier and crossing the post.
“Soldiers from the Intervention Brigade of the Monusco force returning from the retreat fired at the border post for unknown reasons and forced their way in. This serious incident caused loss of life and serious injuries .lamented the UN mission in a statement.
“The balance sheet is two dead”, said to Agence France-Presse (AFP) Joël Kitausa, a civil society official in Kasindi, who reported 14 injuries. Earlier, Barthélemy Kambale Siva, delegate of the governor of North Kivu in Kasindi, gave a report of eight seriously injured, including two policemen from the border post.
The head of Monusco, Bintou Keita, said himself “Extremely shocked and concerned by this serious incident”according to the mission statement. “Faced with this unspeakable and irresponsible attitude, the perpetrators of the shooting have been identified and arrested pending the conclusions of the investigation, which has already begun, in collaboration with the Congolese authorities”said MONUSCO.
“Contacts have also been established with the country of origin of these soldiers so that legal processes can be opened immediately with the participation of victims and witnesses, so that good punishments can be obtained as soon as possible”added the UN mission, without mentioning the nationality of these blue helmets.
The DRC government “Strongly condemn and deplore this unfortunate incident, the provisional report shows that two compatriots were killed and 15 injured”assured the evening of his spokesperson, Patrick Muyaya.
Together with MONUSCO, the authorities opened “an investigation to establish responsibilities, find out the motives for such a crime and get severe punishments against the blue helmets that caused this tragedy”he confirmed.
“Leave the room”
Kinshasa, calling on the Congolese “quiet”warned that “The blue helmets concerned will no longer be part of the MONUSCO contingents, pending the outcome of the plan to withdraw this UN force from the DRC”.
Last week, deadly demonstrations accompanied by destruction and looting took place in several towns in eastern DRC to demand the withdrawal of the United Nations. In Goma, Butembo, Beni and other localities, demonstrators attacked Monusco facilities.
Nineteen people, including three blue helmets, died in these violent demonstrations. Demonstrators accused the blue helmets of being ineffective in fighting the hundreds of armed groups responsible for the chaos that has engulfed the country’s eastern provinces for nearly thirty years.
One of the largest and most expensive UN missions in the world, MONUSCO has been in the DRC since 1999. It currently has more than 14,000 peacekeepers, with an annual budget of one billion dollars.
During a visit to the DRC on Saturday, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, head of the UN peace department, explained that he came to “to talk to the Congolese authorities, to explore ways in which we can prevent the recurrence of tragic incidents and, above all, work together better to achieve our goals”. “We want to fulfill the conditions, especially the return of state authority, so that Monusco can complete its mission as soon as possible and leave room for other forms of international support”he said.