DRC Expelled Peacekeeping Agent

DRC expelled Peacekeeping Agent of the United Nations: 

The DRC expelled Peacekeeping Agent, blaming him for stoking tensions that led to deadly protests last week. The decision was announced in a statement from the foreign affairs ministry dated July 28 and seen by the Reuters news agency on Wednesday. Thirty-six people, including four UN peacekeepers, were killed last week as hundreds of protesters vandalized and set fire to the mission’s buildings in several cities in the country’s east. Civilians accuse the mission, which has been active for more than 10 years, of failing to protect them from the armed gang violence that has long plagued the region. DRC expelled Peacekeeping Agent.

The government said that the spokesman, Mathias Gillmann, had made “indelicate and inappropriate” statements that contributed to the tensions between the population and MONUSCO. “The Congolese government considers that the presence of this office on the national territory is not likely to promote a climate of mutual trust and calm between Congolese institutions and MONUSCO,” said the statement. Gillmann and MONUSCO’s deputy spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Withdrawal of Peacekeeping Forces and Response: 

The Congolese government also said this week that it would reassess the mission’s withdrawal plan in light of the protests, a decision that MONUSCO said it supported. The mission is due to withdraw by 2024 according to a plan drawn up last year but the government aims to speed up its departure, said foreign affairs minister Christophe Lutundula. On 31st July 2022, At least two people have been killed and 15 wounded when members of the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) opened fire at a border post in the country’s eastern region, according to the Congolese government. DRC expelled the UN Peacekeeping Spokesperson.

Read More: https://youthdiplomacyforum.com/2022/07/31/zelensky-urges-civilians-to-leave-donetsk/

The incident took place on Sunday in the DRC’s Beni territory as the troops of MONUSCO’s intervention brigade crossed into the country from Uganda. After a verbal exchange, the peacekeepers appeared to open fire before opening the gate, driving on and continuing to shoot while people scattered or hid. “During this incident, soldiers from the intervention brigade of the MONUSCO force returning from leave opened fire at the border post for unexplained reasons and forced their way through,” the UN mission in Kasindi said in a statement on Sunday. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN in DR Congo, Bintou Keita, said an investigation had begun and the suspected perpetrators arrested.

Why did Congolese lose Faith in UN Troops? 

At 6 am on Wednesday, Eduard Sikabuya jumped out of bed in Butembo, a town in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a clear idea in his mind: to set fire to one of the three United Nations mission facilities based in his town. “We will continue to destroy their camps to the point that no place to sleep is left and they leave our country,” the 23-year-old electrical engineering student told Al Jazeera. “We are witnessing never-ending massacres.

“I want MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] to go because it does no good to us,” added Sikabuya, whose two cousins were killed in 2020 by armed groups. On the day he joined hundreds of others in protests at the MONUSCO facility in Butembo, three UN personnel died, the organization said in a statement, adding that demonstrators “violently snatched weapons” from the Congolese police and fired at peacekeeping forces. They had also been throwing stones and petrol bombs, breaking into bases, and looting and vandalizing facilities, the UN statement said. The town’s police chief, Paul Ngoma, said that seven civilians were also killed when the peacekeepers retaliated.

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/29/has-the-un-mission-in-the-dr-congo

The mandate of the MONUSCO: 

Protesters and the UN have also been trading accusations over who is responsible for the killings even as the UN Security Council warned that targeting peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. Violent protests swept across towns in DRC’s eastern North Kivu province this week with crowds attacking the country’s UN mission which is accused of failing to stop decades-long violence by armed groups.

Demonstrations first started on Monday in Goma, the province’s capital, and then spread to the towns of Beni, Butempo, and Uvira, along with others in North and South Kivu. At least 19 people have died in total, while more than 50 people have been injured, local authorities said. MONUSCO was established in 2010 with the mandate to protect civilians, but UN forces have been present on the ground – in different iterations – since 1999. To date, it is the world’s second-largest UN mission with approximately 16000 military personnel and police officers.

Citizens have been questioning why, despite a budget of more than $1.1bn and a mandate to protect the population, more than 120 armed groups still roam the region causing death, displacement, and a dire humanitarian crisis. Most of the groups are seeking to control territory in the oil-rich eastern region.

As Reported by the team of the Youth Diplomatic Institute.