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The Republic of the Congo reassesses the withdrawal plan of the UN mission

The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo will reassess the withdrawal plan of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country after protests against the organization of last week, which resulted in the death of dozens of people, as reported late on Monday, suggesting that it could ask UN troops to leave its territory earlier than expected.

The Congolese government said that 29 civilians and four members of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco) died during a series of demonstrations in the east of the country. The protesters demanded that the UN peacekeepers leave the country for failing to protect the population from armed groups that have wreaked havoc in the region for decades.

“The government has received instructions to speed up a meeting with Monusco to reassess its withdrawal plan,” the government statement said, without giving further details. Monusco, which took over from a previous UN operation in 2010, has been gradually reducing its presence in Congo for years and its current mandate ends in December.

A mission spokesman did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. UN troops were accused of retaliating by force and, in some cases, resorting to live bullets, as hundreds of protesters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails and vandalized and set UN buildings on fire.

A government commission sent to assess the consequences of the events determined that 13 people died in the clashes in the city of Rubberanother 13 in Butemboand three in Kanyabayonga. Four other protesters died in Uvira when the armed forces fired shots that hit an electrical cable that fell on them.

The UN has condemned the violence and has pledged to investigate alleged abuses by both sides together with the Congolese authorities. The peacekeeping mission had more than 12,000 soldiers and 1,600 police officers deployed in Congo as of November 2021, according to its website.

Source: Elintransigente

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