At least 15 people have been killed on the second day of anti-United Nations protests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s turbulent northeastern region, in attacks UN chief Antonio Guterres said could constitute a ‘war crime’.
Protests erupted on Monday as crowds took to the streets of North Kivu province’s main city Goma against the country’s UN mission – United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) – which they accuse of failing to stop armed groups’ decades-old fighting.
Demonstrations spread further north to the towns of Beni and Butembo on Tuesday.
Five people were killed in Goma and about 50 others were wounded, according to government spokesman Patrick Muyaya.
Seven civilians were killed in Butembo, local police chief Colonel Paul Ngoma said.
One peacekeeper and two UN police officers were also killed in Butembo, the UN mission said in a statement.
The UN says that protesters have “violently snatched weapons” from the Congolese police and fired at peacekeeping forces. They had also been throwing stones and petrol bombs, breaking into bases, and looting and vandalising facilities, according to the organisation.
Translation: 1 blue helmet and 2 UN police officer have been killed this Tuesday in Butembo (#northKivu) during an attack to the MONUSCO’s base. The assailants have violently snatched the arms to PNC [Congolese National Police] soldiers and shot at our peacekeeping forces.