Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) says it is reassessing the presence of United Nations peacekeepers after 36 people were killed during protests against the force in the country’s east. The decision was reached at a crisis meeting chaired by President Felix Tshisekedi.
Senior Congolese officials have resolved to re-evaluate the withdrawal plan of the United Nations peacekeeping mission from their country.
The officials took the decision after UN peacekeepers opened fire on civilians in an eastern border post killing two people and injuring 15 others.
The UN peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO said it supports the government’s decision. It had originally planned to withdraw its troops in 2024
Violent protests broke out in several towns in eastern DRC last week.
The local population accuses the UN peacekeeping mission of failing to protect them from militia groups that have been attacking them for decades.
Congolese authorities say 36 people including 4 UN peacekeepers were killed in the protests.
The United Nations has expressed its condolences to the families of the victims and called for accountability.
The UN peacekeeping mission has about 16 000 troops in the DRC. But the troops have not been able to restore peace in the country’s east, which has more than 120 armed groups.
Many locals in eastern DRC developed anger towards the UN peacekeepers after the resurgence of the M23 rebel group in April.
The rebels have captured a key town and several villages forcing more than 160 000 people to flee their homes. -Reporting by Chris Ocamringa in Kinshasa