At least two people were killed in a fire by peacekeepers at a border post with Uganda in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Sunday, July 31, the UN Mission in the DRC (Monusco) and a local official said. Monusco, the United Nations stabilization mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, currently has more than 14,000 peacekeepers with an annual budget of $1 billion.
“Soldiers from the intervention brigade of the Monusco force, returning from vacation, for unknown reasons opened fire on the border post and forced the passage. This serious incident resulted in fatalities and serious injuries,” the UN mission regretted in a press release, without further details information to make an accurate assessment. “The number is two dead,” said Joël Kitausa, a civil society leader in Kasindi, who reported 14 injured.
Monusco head Bintou Keita said she was “deeply shocked and dismayed by this grave incident,” according to the mission statement. “In the face of this unspeakable and irresponsible behavior, the perpetrators of the shooting have been identified and arrested pending the completion of the investigation, which has already begun in collaboration with the Congolese authorities,” specifies Monusco.
The head of #MONUSCOBitou Keita said she was deeply shocked and dismayed by the serious incident that took place in Kasindi this morning.
The perpetrators of the shooting have been identified and arrested pending the results of the investigation.
—MONUSCO (@MONUSCO) July 31, 2022
“Contacts have also been established with the countries of origin of these soldiers so that court proceedings can be initiated urgently with the participation of victims and witnesses so that exemplary sanctions can be imposed as quickly as possible,” the UN mission added.
For his part, the UN Secretary-General said he was “outraged”. Antonio Guterres “emphasises with the utmost firmness the need to establish responsibility for these events” and approves “the arrest of military personnel involved in this incident and the immediate opening of an investigation,” a deputy spokesman for the secretary-general said in a statement.