DRC: Security in capital beefed up after attacks on UN staff, Western embassies

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have beefed up security in a district of the capital city Kinshasa where UN buildings and foreign embassies are located after they were targeted by protestors accusing the West of supporting M23 rebels amid escalating clashes between the rebel group and, the armed forces.
Throughout last week, dozens of youths demonstrated outside the French, British and the US embassies. On Saturday (10 February), United Nation buildings, vehicles and staff were also targeted by demonstrators as a worsening eastern security crisis fuels a backlash against the mission. Crowds on motorbikes gathered in the capital city, where the UN mission MONUSCO and many embassies are located, burning tires and attacking people. One of the vehicles of the Ivorian embassy had reportedly been vandalized in Kinshasa, amid indiscriminate attacks on vehicles belonging to embassies and international organizations.
Some demonstrators carried placards or chanted slogans accusing Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, of carrying out killing in the east of the DRC with Western support. Several of the UN mission’s vehicles had been set alight, said MONUSCO head Bintou Keita. “I strongly condemn the series of attacks,” she added. In response, ”the government has decided to strengthen the security arrangements in different embassies as well as in the premises of MONUSCO,” it said on Sunday (11 February) in a statement after an emergency meeting. It added that an inquiry had been opened and the government “strongly condemns these totally unjustified acts of violence.” Clashes between the M23 rebel group and the army have intensified recently around the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, forcing thousands of people to flee.

About Geraldine Boechat 2637 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia