At least five people have been killed and some 50 wounded on the second day of protests against a United Nations peacekeeping force in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a government spokesman.
Protesters on Monday attacked a warehouse of the MONUSCO force and looted offices, demanding that the mission leave for failing to protect civilians in a region plagued by decades of militia violence.
They also blocked roads in Goma with rocks and pebbles, ransacked offices and carted off some materials and set fire to a gate of the mission’s compound.
Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya on Tuesday announced the deaths and said further information would be provided later in the day on the human and logistical toll of the protests. There was no immediate comment by MONUSCO.
The protest was called by a faction of the youth wing of President Felix Tshisekedi’s UDPS ruling party, which said in a statement it was demanding the immediate withdrawal of the UN peacekeepers over what it described as their ineffectiveness.
The Congolese government was closely monitoring the situation, its spokesman said.
Tensions are high in the eastern region where resurgent clashes between the Congolese army and the M23 rebel group have displaced thousands. Attacks by the ADF armed group also continue despite a year-long state of emergency and joint operations against it by the Congolese and Ugandan armies.
Separately, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Monday the M23 group had summarily killed at least 29 civilians since mid-June in areas under its control.