By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Forty-eight died in an anti-UN protest crackdown in DR Congo (DRC), say security sources and official documents.
DRC security forces suppressed an anti-UN demonstration in the country’s east. Congolese soldiers stopped a sect from protesting against UN peacekeepers in Goma.
Ten deaths were reported after soldiers entered a radio studio and a worship place. A lynched police officer was among the chaos, local sources said.
However, an army document indicated 48 deaths, including the police officer, and 75 injuries.
The document showed soldiers seized many bladed weapons and arrested 168 individuals, including the sect leader.
The eastern DRC has faced militia violence for three decades due to the 1990s and 2000s regional wars.
Many in the DRC criticize the UN peacekeeping mission for not acting against violence.
The government later increased the toll to “43 dead, 56 injured, and 158 detained, including the sect leader.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced the killing and injuring of dozens of protesters by Congolese security forces.
Thomas Fessy, an HRW researcher, called it a cruel and illegal way to enforce the protest ban.
Last year, dozens, including four peacekeepers, died during anti-UN protests in eastern DRC.
The recent incident comes amid talks about withdrawing the 16,000-strong UN mission.
Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said there was no reason to maintain the mission after the 2023 elections.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the mission was in its final phase, but the withdrawal date is uncertain.
The UN mission, known as MONUSCO, has been active since 1999. It is the largest UN peacekeeping mission in the world.
However, many Congolese citizens feel it has failed to address the ongoing conflict effectively.
This discontent has sparked several protests against the UN presence in the past. The decision to withdraw the mission will be pivotal for the region’s stability.