The United States government on Thursday, July 28, called on the Democratic Republic of Congo to protect United Nations peacekeeping forces targeted by large ‘murderous demonstrations’ which have already resulted in the deaths of three UN soldiers.
The protesters accused the UN Blue Helmets of being ineffective against over 100 armed groups responsible for the chaos that the eastern province of the country has been plunged into for the past three decades.
In the last several days, about 17 persons were killed, including three UN peacekeepers (two Indians and one Moroccan), and 60 persons were wounded, according to local authorities.
“The United Nations mission in DR Congo, MONUSCO, plays an essential role of support to peace and security, protecting the civilians and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid,” said Ned Price, spokesperson of the US State Department.
“We call on the national local authorities of DR Congo to ensure the protection of members and MONUSCO sites and demonstrators to express their opinions calmly.”
The United States, the leading financial contributor to the Blue Helmets, hailed the deployment of Congolese soldiers and police on Wednesday, July 27, to ensure calm.
The UN Security Council had on Wednesday condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the attacks and recalled that targeting soldiers charged with maintaining peace could constitute a war crime.
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