Kinshasa: MONUSCO Demands Investigations into Violence Against Its Personnel Amid Protests

Bintou Keita

In a statement issued on February 10, 2024, the United Nations expressed strong condemnation of the attacks against its personnel in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and called for immediate investigations by the Congolese judicial authorities. Madame Bintou Keita, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), highlighted the seriousness of these incidents, which saw several United Nations vehicles set ablaze and looted during protests in Kinshasa on the same day.

The demonstrations in question were directed against Western embassies, criticized for their perceived inaction in condemning Rwanda, which United Nations experts have accused of supporting the M23 rebellion. These protests escalated into violence, affecting the properties and personnel of both the embassies and MONUSCO. Madame Keita emphasized that threats and attacks on United Nations staff and their families are utterly unacceptable and have a negative impact on the ability of United Nations agencies, funds, and programs to carry out their mandates. Specifically, for MONUSCO, such assaults significantly hinder its support for the Congolese defense and security forces.

Furthermore, the United Nations denounced the spread of disinformation campaigns targeting its peacekeeping mission in the DRC. The organization reiterated its commitment to contributing to peace consolidation and improving living conditions for the Congolese population, underlining the crucial role of its personnel in the country.