15 Killed During Demonstrations in Eastern DRC

UN soldiers in the DR Congo [Photo: Aljazeera]

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say at least 15 people have been killed in demonstrations against United Nations peacekeepers in the east of the country.

According to the police, three UN peacekeepers also died in the city of Butembo in North Kivu province.

The demonstrators wanted the departure of the UN peacekeeping force.

They claim the force has failed to restore peace in the region, amid a resurgence of the M23 rebel movement.

This is as the UN says the protesters violently snatched weapons from the Congolese police and fired at the peacekeeping forces.

According to deputy UN spokesperson Farhan Haq they were also throwing stones and petrol bombs, looting and vandalizing facilities.

“He underscores that any attack directed against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and calls upon the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and swiftly bring those responsible to justice,” said Haq.

He said the situation was extremely volatile and reinforcements were being mobilized, stressing that UN forces had been told to exercise maximum restraint by the DR Congo government.

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