Home WORLD AFRICA Canadian peacekeepers safe and sound after protests in Congo

Canadian peacekeepers safe and sound after protests in Congo


The Department of National Defense and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have both assured that all Canadian personnel in Congo are safe and sound, while the United Nations has reported three deaths of peacekeepers during the clashes.

At least 15 people have been killed and dozens more injured during two days of protests in eastern Congo against the United Nations mission in the country, officials said on Tuesday.

L’UN said that a Moroccan peacekeeper and two Indian international policemen serving in the peacekeeping force of theUN had been killed. In addition, an Egyptian policeman was injured at the base of theUN in Butembo, in the province of North Kivu, what officials of theUN described as several attacks on peacekeeping bases and facilities in the country.

Six Canadians present

Demonstrators accused the peacekeeping mission of failing to protect civilians in the face of rising violence in eastern Congo, and demanded the departure of the forces of theUN.

Some allegations have surfaced that peacekeepers have fired on civilians, prompting officials of theUN to promise an investigation, while working to protect their facilities and staff.

L’UN reported that Canada had nine police officers and eight military officers in Congo at the end of March, but the Ministry of Defense points out that there are currently only six members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) there.

FCC are safe with no injuries reported”,”text”:”All CAF members safe with no injuries reported”}}”>All members of FCC are safe and sound, and no injuries were reportedwrote in an email the spokeswoman for the department, Jessica Lamirande.

FCC were not involved in the violence and are currently sheltering at the scene at their residence.”,”text”:”CAF personnel have not been involved in the violence and are currently sheltering at the scene at their residence .”}}”>The staff of FCC was not involved in the violence and is currently sheltering at the scene at their home.

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The RCMPthrough Global Affairs Canada, said that all canadian police officers […] are accounted for and secure. No details were added.

The general secretary of theUNAntonio Guterres, strongly condemned the attack in the city of Butembo and the violence targeting several bases of theUN in the province of North Kivu since Monday.

L’UN is the target of attacks

The Deputy Spokesperson of theUNFarhan Haq, revealed on Tuesday that hundreds of assailants again attacked ISIS force bases.UNknown by its French acronym MONUSCO, in the city of Goma as well as in other parts of North Kivu province fueled by hostile language and threats made by individuals and groups against the UN, particularly on social media.

Crowds throw rocks and petrol bombs, break into bases, loot, vandalize and set fire to facilities Mr. Haq said. We try to calm things downincluding by sending rapid intervention forces, but there is no indication that the violence has ended.

In addition, Mr. Haq mentioned that at least four incidents targeted residences of MONUSCO personnel. They have now been transferred to camps in theUN. A crowd also tried to enter the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) compound earlier on Tuesday, he added.

On Monday, demonstrators set fire to and forced entry into the offices of the mission of theUN in Goma, accusing the peacekeeping force of failing to protect civilians in the face of rising violence in eastern Congo.

Congolese police said at least six people were killed in Goma on Monday and eight civilians in Butembo. Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said at least five people were killed and around 50 injured on Monday.

Fighting escalation

Soldiers use a rocket launcher.

Soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) take position after renewed fighting near the Congolese border with Rwanda, outside Goma in North Kivu province.

Photo: Reuters/JAFFAR SABITI

Mineral-rich eastern Congo is home to a host of rebel groups and security in the region has deteriorated despite a year of emergency operations by a joint force from the Congo and Ugandan armies. Civilians in the east have also faced violence from jihadist rebels linked to the Islamic State armed group.

In June 2021 and 2022, the peacekeeping mission closed its office in the Congolese regions of Kasai Central and Tanganyika. The mission has more than 16,000 uniformed personnel in Congo, according to theUN.

The protests come as fighting intensified between Congolese troops and rebels from the M23 group, forcing nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes. M23 rebel forces have shown increased firepower and defensive capabilities, report says Human Rights Watch.

The acting head of the peacekeeping mission, Khassim Diagne, and Mr. Haq have condemned the killings of ISIS personnel.UN. The latter indicated that the head of the peacekeeping of theUNJean Pierre Lacroix, who is currently in Mali, will travel to Congo at the first opportunity.

Mr. Guterres reiterated firm commitment of the’UN for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Congo, as well as the support of the peacekeeping mission in government and people of the Congo in their efforts to bring peace and stability to the east of the country.

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