UN peacekeepers open fire in DR Congo, causing several casualties | United Nations News

The number of dead and injured remains unknown as peacekeepers open fire on a border post in eastern Beni territory, according to the UN.

An unknown number of people were killed and several others injured after United Nations peacekeepers opened fire on a border post in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the UN said.

Video of the incident, shared on social media, showed men – at least one in police uniform and another in army uniform – advancing towards the immobilized UN convoy behind a closed barrier in Kasindi. The town is in Beni territory, eastern DRC, on the border with Uganda.

After a verbal exchange, peacekeepers appeared to open fire before opening the gate, rolling and continuing to fire as people dispersed or hid.

“During this incident, soldiers from the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade returning from leave opened fire on the border post for unexplained reasons and forced the passage,” the mission said on Sunday. UN in Kasindi in a statement.

“This serious incident resulted in deaths and serious injuries.”

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in DR Congo, Bintou Keita, said an investigation had been opened and the alleged perpetrators had been arrested.

“Faced with this unspeakable and irresponsible behavior, 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,” she said.

She added that contacts had been made with the country of origin of the soldiers so that legal proceedings could be initiated as a matter of urgency. She did not name the country.

Meanwhile, UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was “outraged” by the incident and demanded “accountability”. Guterres was “saddened and appalled” to learn that members of the peacekeeping unit fired, according to a UN statement.

Barthelemy Kambale Siva, the North Kivu governor’s representative in Kasindi, had earlier said that “eight people, including two policemen who were working at the barrier, were seriously injured” in the incident.

Siva, speaking to the AFP news agency, did not specify why the UN convoy was prevented from crossing the barrier.

More than 120 armed groups operate in the troubled east of the DRC. The UN first deployed an observer mission to the region in 1999.

In 2010, it became the peacekeeping mission MONUSCO – United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – with a mandate to carry out offensive operations.

There were 230 deaths among them, according to the UN.

Last week, deadly demonstrations demanding the departure of the UN took place in several towns in eastern DRC.

A total of 19 people, including three Blue Helmets, were kill.

The anger has been fueled by the feeling that MONUSCO is not doing enough to stop attacks by armed groups.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix was in the central African country on Saturday to “talk to the Congolese authorities”, he said.

“[They would] examine ways in which we can both prevent these tragic incidents from happening again and, above all, work better together to achieve our goals,” he said.

“We hope that the conditions will be met, including the return of state authority, so that MONUSCO can complete its mission as soon as possible – and make way for other forms of international support.

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