Monusco bases attacked in Goma, condemns the mission

Monusco bases were attacked on Monday 25 July in Goma in eastern DRC. Hundreds of protesters stormed, including two locations under the UN mission. They were able to get in and loot some equipment.

The demonstration started early Monday morning. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Goma in a protest action against Monusco. The UN mission, in the country for 22 years, now has 14,000 blue helmets. But the violence in the eastern part of the country continues and causes discontent among the population.

“These security forces should work together and maybe change their strategy. That way, maybe the situation will improve and this war will end in our country,” said one of the protesters. “For more than 20 years, these forces remained in our country, but their actions yielded no results. We want the UN to withdraw their forces from Congo because their presence has not resulted in anything,” another protester added.

The protest eventually split into two and then degenerated. The participants attacked Monusco’s local headquarters as well as its logistics base. They climbed the walls before ransacking the premises, taking furniture, equipment, valuables… Several agents had to be evacuated by helicopter.

► Read also: DRC: Monusco’s mandate extended by one year

“We are in the process of taking stock of the damage, which amounts to several hundred thousand dollars, laments Khassim Diagne, deputy head of the UN mission. We are extremely concerned about this very serious incident, which, by the way, comes the day after hostile remarks and threats by individuals against the UN asking us to leave the DRC. One thinks, for example, of the remarks made by Senate President Modeste Bahati, who had asked Monusco to “pack up”, ten days ago.

The government “strongly condemned any attack against UN personnel and facilities”. Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya promised that those responsible would be “prosecuted and severely punished”.

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