The Congolese government has asked the United Nations for the departure of its spokesman in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a “short period of time”, according to an official correspondence revealed Wednesday.
“The government will appreciate (…) very much if arrangements are made for Mathias Gillmann to leave Congolese territory as soon as possible,” Congolese Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula wrote to the head of MONUSCO.
“The presence of this official on national territory is not likely to foster the climate of mutual trust and serenity that is so essential between the Congolese institutions and MONUSCO,” Lutundula said.
“The comments made by Mr Gillmann on RFI stating that MONUSCO did not have the military means to deal with the M23 are at the root of the current tension. We have asked MONUSCO in a friendly manner to leave the country,” said a government source who did not wish to be identified.
Since 25 July, angry demonstrators have ransacked and looted facilities of the UN mission deployed in the DRC since 1999.
Four peacekeepers were killed in Butembo and at least 28 demonstrators were killed in Goma, Butembo and Kanyabaonga (North Kivu). Four others were electrocuted in Uvira (South Kivu) when their march was dispersed, according to an official report.