Protests against UN mission erupt in Goma and turn to looting

After having barricaded the main arteries of Goma, capital of the province of North Kivu, hundreds of demonstrators split into two groups stormed the local headquarters of the UN mission as well as its logistics base located outside the center of the town.

At Monusco headquarters, these angry demonstrators burned tires and plastic objects in front of the gate and then broke the wall of the fence, noted an AFP correspondent.

The demonstrators then broke windows, walls and looted computers, chairs, tables and valuables.

Monusco agents present on the site were evacuated aboard two helicopters.

Similar scenes also occurred at the Monusco logistics base where a student in uniform was hit in the leg by a bullet fired from inside the logistics base.

The UN police used tear gas canisters to disperse the demonstrators before the intervention of the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the DRC.

Several demonstrators were arrested by the Congolese security forces.

On July 15 in Goma, the President of the Congolese Senate Modeste Bahati had asked, during a meeting, Monusco to “pack up” after 22 years of a presence which has not been able to impose peace in the eastern part of the DRC, destabilized for nearly three decades.

Monusco is the largest UN mission in the world with at least 14,000 blue helmets.

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