Image: picture-alliance/dpa/0AP Photo/A.-H. K. Maliro
Congo: Protesters storm UN base in Beni
November 25, 2019
Residents in a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo's say the UN MONUSCO mission is doing nothing to protect them from rebel attacks. The UN mission and Congo's military will launch joint operations in response.
Protesters, aid-workers and society leaders were united in saying the MONUSCO mission was failing the region.
"Residents are demanding the withdrawal of MONUSCO from Beni because of the inaction of UN forces," said Teddy Kataliko, a civil society leader in Beni.
"We are killed while MONUSCO is here to protect us. Let them go home. We do not need tourists in our country," Kasereka Fundi, a protester, told the AP news agency.
"At the moment, the security and UN forces are utterly failing in their obligation to protect people living in Beni" and elsewhere in Congo," said Seif Magango, Amnesty International's deputy director for East Africa, in a statement.
MONUSCO, Congo military to join forces
The demonstrations appeared to be successful — the presidential twitter account later announced the DR Congo military and UN peacekeepers will set up an advanced headquarters in Beni, following an emergency meeting.
The MONUSCO account had earlier released a series of tweets stating that it had not been invited by Congo's military to participate in an offensive against the ADF launched late last month.
ADF fighters have repeatedly attacked Beni residents over the past days. The ADF formed in Uganda in 1995 and the deaths of more than 1,500 people have been attributed to the force over the past five years.
The killings and violence has continued, despite MONUSCO replacing an earlier UN mission in the region in 2010.
On its website, MONUSCO states that it has been "authorized to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate relating, among other things, to the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence."