UN brigade in Congo opened fire on border post, killing two


The incident at the Congo-Uganda border post in Kasindi in the troubled eastern part of the country is the latest in which the Congo peacekeeping mission, known as MONUSCO, has come under pressure from days of protests.

It is not clear why the soldiers opened fire.

“This serious incident has resulted in loss of life and serious injuries,” Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Congo, said in a statement.

Keita and the Congolese government said an investigation had begun and the suspected perpetrators had been arrested.

“Faced with this unspeakable and irresponsible behavior, the perpetrators of the shooting were identified and arrested pending the conclusions of the investigation already launched in collaboration with the Congolese authorities,” Keita said.

She added that contact has been made with the soldiers’ countries of origin so that legal proceedings can be started urgently. She did not name the country.

The Congolese government said in a statement that a preliminary investigation has revealed that two Congolese were killed and 15 others injured.

“The government, together with MONUSCO, has launched an investigation to find out the reasons for such crime and obtain severe punishments,” government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said in the statement.

He said the peacekeepers involved in the incident would no longer be part of MONUSCO’s contingents pending the outcome of a plan to withdraw the entire force from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

MONUSCO took over from a previous UN operation in 2010. MONUSCO had deployed more than 12,000 troops and 1,600 police officers by November 2021 and has been gradually withdrawing for years.

At least 20 people have been killed, including three peacekeepers, since the protests started last Monday.

The protests were sparked by complaints that the mission has failed to protect civilians from militia violence that has raged in the region for years.

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