More details have emerged from the Democratic Republic of Congo on the border shootings by United Nations peacekeepers that left at least two people dead.
Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General António Guterres, said the incident began when a battalion of peacekeepers serving with the MONUSCO mission in DR Congo were returning from leave but delayed while trying to reenter the country at Kasindi, in North Kivu.
“The troops waited overnight in an area between the official exit point from Uganda and the official entry point into the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Dujarric explained during Tuesday’s press briefing. “The violent incident that occurred the following morning is now the subject of an investigation opened by the mission.”
The peacekeepers, reported by the BBC to be Tanzanian troops, now have been detained by MONUSCO.
Guterres has called for an immediate investigation, with Dujarric confirming that MONUSCO has been in touch with authorities in the peacekeepers’ home country in order to press for a national judicial investigation.
Bintou Keita, the MONUSCO chief, called the incident shocking and inexplicable while expressing condolences to the families of those killed in the shooting as well as the additional wounded during the incident.
Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi, speaking with Guterres, expressed his disapproval over the MONUSCO peacekeepers’ behavior and called for severe punishment. He also is reportedly reviewing the continued MONUSCO presence in DR Congo, which has been a source of tension and growing violence in recent months.
Image: MONUSCO file photo