UN head angry after peacekeepers kill 2 along Uganda-DR Congo border
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed outrage at an incident that occurred on Sunday morning on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda, in which UN forces opened fire and killed two persons.
“Antonio Guterres is outraged by a serious incident that occurred this morning in Kasindi, on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, in which @MONUSCO military personnel opened fire while returning to the DRC from leave in their home country,” the UN Spokesperson for the Secretary-General tweeted.
MONUSCO, the UN peacekeeping force, stated that some of its members had opened fire “for unclear reasons,” and that arrests had been made.
Bitou Keita, the director of MONUSCO, expressed shock at the tragedy and announced, “The perpetrators of the shooting have been identified and detained based on the results of the inquiry.”
“The Secretary-General is deeply shocked and appalled by the loss of life and severe injuries incurred during this event,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.
“He extends his heartfelt sympathies to the afflicted families, the people of the DRC, and the Congolese government, and wishes those wounded a swift recovery,” the statement said.
The Secretary-General emphasized the need of establishing responsibility for these incidents.
“He supports the decision of his special envoy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to hold the MONUSCO employees engaged in the event and to launch an inquiry promptly,” the statement said.
According to a UN News report, military forces from the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) opened fire in Kasindi, North Kivu province, while coming home from leave.
A social media video of the event showed individuals, at least one in police clothes and another in army gear, rushing toward the United Nations convoy, which was halted behind a locked barrier in Kasindi.
The peacekeepers seemed to shoot fire after a verbal argument before breaching the barrier and driving through as civilians ran or hid.
According to news sources, UN forces murdered two civilians and wounded numerous more.
“During this incident, troops from the MONUSCO force’s intervention brigade returning from leave opened fire at the border checkpoint for unknown reasons and pushed their way through,” the United Nations mission in Kasindi said in a statement early Sunday.
“This terrible tragedy resulted in fatalities and significant injuries,” it stated.
Soon after the incident occurred on Sunday, government spokesman Patrick Muyaya issued a statement in which he stated that the Democratic Republic of the Congo “strongly condemns and deplores this unfortunate incident in which two compatriots died and 15 others were injured, according to a provisional roll.”
The administration stated it had begun an inquiry with MONUSCO to determine who was responsible and why the shooting occurred, and that “serious sanctions” will be imposed.
The North Kivu governor’s agent in Kasindi, Barthelemy Kambale Siva, previously said that “eight persons, including two policemen who were working at the barrier, were gravely hurt” in the event.
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