By Spy Uganda Correspondent
The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, known as MONUSCO, has come under regular local criticism for allegedly looting the conflict torn country instead of protecting the citizens from rebels.
Protesters have stormed a United Nations base in the eastern Congolese city of Goma, demanding the departure of peacekeepers from the region something they believe will bring peace.
The protesters smashed windows and looted computers, furniture and other valuables from the headquarters while UN police officers fired tear gas in a bid to push them back.
Over 120 armed groups roam the volatile region, where conflict has displaced millions of people and civilian massacres are common. Protestors believe all this is sponsored by UN to smoothly loot the country’s natural resources.
‘Incapacity’ To Protect
Ahead of Monday’s protest, the Goma youth branch of the ruling UDPS party released a statement demanding MONUSCO “withdraw from Congolese soil without conditions”.
The statement added that MONUSCO “has already proved its incapacity to provide us with protection”.
Khassim Diagne, the deputy special representative of the UN secretary general to MONUSCO, said the UN is not opposed to protests but that violence is unacceptable.
“These are looters,” he said. “We condemn them in the strongest terms”.
The latest protest comes after the president of the Congolese senate, Modeste Bahati, told supporters in Goma on July 15 that MONUSCO should “pack its bags”.