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Protesters attack, loot UN warehouse in DR Congo

Congolese protesters set up a fire barricade outside a United Nations peacekeeping force’s warehouse in Goma in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo July 25, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Hundreds of protesters have attacked a United Nations peacekeeping force’s warehouse, looted offices in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, demanding that the mission leaves for failure to protect the population.

Protesters on Monday barricaded roads in the city with rocks and pebbles, ransacked offices and carted off some materials and set fire to a gate of the mission’s compound, Reuters reports.

“One of our warehouses was attacked by protesters early this morning. They entered one of our bases and looted the equipment. They managed to enter a few offices, we are obviously appalled and shocked by this,” said a spokesperson for the peacekeeping mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO.

The mission said in a statement the attack took place a day after hostile remarks and threats made by individuals and groups against the United Nations.

“The incidents in Goma are not only unacceptable but totally counterproductive. MONUSCO is mandated by the Security Council to support the authorities in protecting civilians,” said acting head of mission, Khassim Diagne, in the statement.

The protest was called by a faction of the youth wing of President Felix Tshisekedi’s UDPS ruling party, which said in a statement that it was demanding the immediate withdrawal of the U.N. peacekeepers over what it described as their ineffectiveness.

Meanwhile, another faction of the youth wing, however, disavowed the protest.

The Congolese government was closely monitoring the situation, its spokesman said.

“The government strongly condemns any form of attack against United Nations personnel and facilities,” Patric Muyaya said on Twitter. “Those responsible will be prosecuted and severely punished.”

Writing by Muzha Kucha