United Nations, July 29 (Ajit Weekly News) Armed Mai-Mai combatants have reportedly joined anti-UN demonstrators in eastern Congo, a UN spokesman said.
Despite members of the community-based militia participating in the demonstrations in North Kivu, the protests were not as violent as earlier in the week, said Farhan Haq, Deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Thursday.
“The situation remains tense and fragile as protestors continue to target UN peacekeeping bases,” Haq said, adding that UN personnel were on high alert.
He said protestors briefly breached the perimeter and damaged some vehicles at a UN camp in Uvira, Xinhua news agency reported.
“In Beni, protestors threw petrol bombs at our Boikene base while an attempt to breach our Madiba compound was blocked.”
Haq added that the report that Mai-Mai combatants joined protestors to reinforce the demonstrations in Butembo is a concerning development, as are continuing threats against the mission continuing to circulate on social media.
The spokesman said the increased presence of Congolese security forces near UN compounds helped deter violence directed at UN personnel and bases, particularly in Goma, Nyamilima and Rwindi.
“We acknowledge the efforts of political and community actors to restore calm by urging people to refrain from violence against the mission,” he added.
The UN mission, known as MONUSCO, is ready to work with the Congolese authorities to investigate incidents in which demonstrators lost their lives or were injured, Haq said, referring to the 12 civilians killed during demonstrations and breaches of UN compounds on Tuesday.
“The mission is also continuing its work with the authorities and people of Congo to protect civilians, deter armed groups, and build the capacity of state institutions and services,” he added, referring to the goals of the mission mandated by the Security Council.
MONUSCO also works closely with local security forces and engages with national authorities, civil society and community groups to restore confidence and calm.
–Ajit Weekly News
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