Members of the United Nations mission and UN Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Monday paid tribute in Goma to peacekeepers killed last week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, report medias.
During this tribute ceremony to the Blue Helmets, the Indian, Moroccan, UN and Congolese flags floated side by side.
As a reminder, deadly demonstrations to demand the departure of the United Nations took place last week in several towns in eastern DRC. A total of 19 people, including three peacekeepers, were killed in these violent protests.
A Moroccan peacekeeper was killed on Tuesday in Butembo during violent anti-Monusco demonstrations. In the same circumstances, two UN police officers of Indian nationality were also killed.
The following day, a soldier belonging to the contingent of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), deployed in the DRC, died in Butembo in North Kivu. The soldier died after an accidental shooting by an element of the UN police who was part of the teams sent to reinforce the Moroccan soldiers, following the aggressive demonstrations of the local population against the presence of MONUSCO, said a press release from the State. -Major General of the FAR.
“We need to be attentive to the sometimes completely unfounded reasons that motivate this hostility (towards the peacekeepers) in order to learn all the lessons and work together with the Congolese authorities to make the necessary improvements”, declared Bintou Keita, the head of the Monusco in Goma where tributes were paid to the Blue Helmets.
For his part, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, also head of the UN peace department, affirmed that “the best service we can render to all those who have lost their lives is to redouble our efforts and to do in such a way that these episodes of violence do not happen again”.
Present in the DRC since 1999, MONUC (UN Mission in Congo) which became MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC) in 2010, currently has more than 14,000 peacekeepers, with an annual budget of a billion dollars.