UN brigade in the Congo opened fire on the border post, two were killed

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

It is unclear why the soldiers opened fire.

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

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

“Faced with this heinous and irresponsible behavior, the perpetrators of the shooting were identified and arrested pending the conclusions of an investigation that has already begun in cooperation with the Congolese authorities,” Keita said.

She added that contact had been made with the soldiers’ country of origin so that legal action could be taken urgently. She did not name the country.

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

“The government, together with MONUSCO, has launched an investigation to find out the reasons for this crime and to secure severe penalties,” government spokesman Patrick Muyai said in a statement.

He said that the peacekeepers involved in the incident would no longer be part of MONUSCO contingents pending the outcome of the plan to withdraw all forces from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

MONUSCO succeeded the previous UN operation in 2010. As of November 2021, MONUSCO has deployed over 12,000 troops and 1,600 police officers and has been gradually withdrawn over the years.

Since the protests began last Monday, at least 20 people have died, including three peacekeepers.

The protests were triggered by complaints that the mission had failed to protect civilians from the militia violence that has been raging in the region for years.

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