UN chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday he was “outraged” by a deadly incident involving UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the Uganda border and demanded “accountability.”Guterres was “saddened and dismayed” to learn of the shooting earlier Sunday in the town of Kasindi by members of the peacekeeping unit, a UN statement said
The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern province has admitted its troops killed people in a shootout in a town in Beni territory on the border with Uganda on Sunday.
Local authorities reported that two people were killed and about eight others injured after troops of the UN Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) opened fire during an incident in the town of Kasindi near the border with Uganda.
In a statement, Bintou Keita, head of the mission, said she had learned with deep shock about the grave incident which happened Sunday morning.“During this incident, soldiers of the Intervention Brigade of the MONUSCO force, returning from leave, opened fire at the border crossing for unexplained reasons and forced their way through. This serious incident resulted in loss of life and serious injuries,” she said.
“This serious incident caused loss of life and serious injuries.”
Footage of the incident posted on social media showed uniformed men advancing towards an immobilized UN convoy behind a closed barrier in Kasindi.
After a verbal exchange, the peacekeepers appear to have opened fire before opening the gate. They drove on and continued to shoot, scattering residents.“The perpetrators of the shooting have been identified and arrested pending the conclusions of the investigation that has already begun in collaboration with the Congolese authorities,” added Keita.
The incident came days after demonstrations in several towns in eastern Congo’s North Kivu province demanding the departure of the UN mission, protests which claimed the lives of 19 people, including three peacekeepers.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN under-secretary-general for peace operations, visited Congo on Saturday where he held talks with Congolese authorities aimed at avoiding a recurrence of the tragic incidents.The UN mission in Congo faces criticism for its perceived ineffectiveness at stopping fighting in the volatile east.