The Congolese government and UN peacekeepers said on Sunday that soldiers returning from leave to a UN intervention brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) opened fire on a border post, killing at least two people and wounding 15 others.
The incident at the Congo-Uganda border post in Kasindi in the restive eastern part of the country is the latest among a peacekeeping mission in the Congo, known as MONUSCO, which has come under pressure from days of protests.
It was not clear why the soldiers opened fire.
“This serious incident has caused loss of life and serious injuries,” Bento Keita, the 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 the suspected perpetrators had been arrested.
“In the face of this unspeakable and irresponsible behaviour, the perpetrators of the shooting have been identified and arrested pending the results of the investigation that has already begun in cooperation with the Congolese authorities,” Keita said.
She added that contacts have been made with the soldiers’ home country so that legal procedures can be started urgently. You did not mention the name of the country.
The Congolese government said in a statement that an interim investigation found two Congolese people were killed and 15 wounded.
“The government, in conjunction with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), has launched an investigation to find out the causes of this crime and impose severe penalties on it,” government spokesman Patrick Moya said in the statement.
He said that the peacekeepers involved in the incident will not be part of the units of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) pending the outcome of the entire force’s withdrawal plan from the DRC.
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) took over from a previous UN operation in 2010. More than 12,000 soldiers and 1,600 police have been deployed as of November 2021, and the withdrawal has been phased out for years.
Since the protests began last Monday, at least 20 people have been killed, including three peacekeepers.
The protests were prompted by complaints that the mission had failed to protect civilians from militia violence that had raged for years in the area.