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Two killed as UN peacekeepers open fire in DR Congo

The UN said two were dead in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on the border with Uganda after UN peacekeepers opened fire Sunday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “outraged” by the news and “saddened and dismayed” by the deaths. He demanded  “accountability,” according to a UN statement.

Videos shared on social media of the incident showed at least one man in a police uniform and another in an army uniform moving toward an unmoving UN convoy behind a closed barrier in the town of Kasindi.

After an exchange of words, the UN peacekeepers appeared to open fire before the gate opened, driving on while continuing to shoot. Onlookers scattered or hid in response.

The representative for North Kivu’s governor in Kasindi, Barthelemy Kambale Siva, said that eight people, including two policemen, were seriously injured.

“The government, together with MONUSCO (the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo), have launched an investigation to know the reasons for such crime and obtain severe punishments,” government spokesman Patrick Muyaya, said in the statement.

What did the UN mission say?

In a statement, the UN mission said that “soldiers from the intervention brigade of the MONUSCO force… returning from leave opened fire at the border post for unexplained reasons and forced their way through.”

The mission added, “This serious incident caused loss of life and serious injuries.”

Bintou Keita, special representative of the secretary-general of the UN in Congo, said the suspected perpetrators were arrested, adding that contact had been made with the countries of origin of the soldiers to start the legal proceedings. She did not name the countries.

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