GOMA, CONGO (AP) – Demonstrators set fires and forced entry into the United Nations (UN) mission facilities in Congo’s eastern city of Goma, demanding that the peacekeeping forces leave the country amid rising insecurity in the region.
Police shot tear gas, injuring some demonstrators, while detaining others, according to protesters.
The Congolese government condemned the attack, pledging justice.
“The incidents in Goma are not only unacceptable but totally counterproductive,” the UN mission in Congo said in a statement. “MONUSCO (the UN mission) is mandated by the Security Council to accompany the authorities in protecting civilians. It stands by the people and supports the national defence and security forces in their fight against armed groups.” It called for calm and restraint.
Congo’s security situation has deteriorated over the past year, with increased attacks from various rebel groups, including the M23 rebel group that had been largely inactive for a decade.
M23 earlier this year took control of parts of eastern Congo and has been involved in heavy fighting with Congo’s military.
A Human Rights Watch report on Monday said over 29 civilians have been summarily killed since mid-June by the armed M23 group, a worrying escalation of violence by the rebel force amid concerns it may also be receiving support from neighbouring Rwanda.