Anti-MONUSCO demonstrations in Goma: The government calls on the population to calm down

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Kinshasa, July 28th, 2022 (CPA) – The government launched, at the end of a meeting chaired on Tuesday evening at the Premature by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, an appeal for calm to the population, after two days of demonstrations against the presence of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in Nord Kivu.

In his report, the Minister in charge of Communication and Media, government spokesman, Patrick Muyaya, indicated that this emergency meeting was an opportunity for the Head of Government and all United Nations officials to make the update on the situation, with regard to the human damage and loss of significant equipment caused by these demonstrations, and also with regard to the transition plan enshrining the gradual withdrawal of this UN mission from Congolese territory.

15 human lives lost

“The situation was being monitored very closely by the President of the Republic himself and the Prime Minister. It was important that we be able to bring together the leaders of the mission who are our partners in the work, for the return of peace, particularly in the eastern part of the country”, he declared. He regretted, however, the death of men caused by these clashes which recorded 15 losses of human lives, including 12 on the Congolese side and 3 on the side of the peacekeepers as well as material damage important.

For the Minister in charge of Communication, the most urgent thing during this meeting was the arrangements that are in progress and that must be taken because, he stressed, the government of DRC has a duty, in accordance to the headquarters agreement that binds it with the United Nations, to ensure the security of MONUSCO facilities and its personnel. He added that upon the expected return of the Head of MONUSCO, Bintou Keita, in the coming days, there will be a broader dialogue on the work they are already doing, given that the process of the withdrawal of the mission of the blue helmets has already begun. The essential message is to launch an appeal for calm, said Patrick Muyaya, indicating that nothing can justify violence, nor any form of attack on MONUSCO installations.

We want to dissuade those who want to attack all Monusco personnel. We must not fall into the amalgam. Do not be mistaken enemies. Because within MONUSCO, there are not only foreigners but also Congolese compatriots”, underlined the government spokesperson announcing, moreover, that the judicial investigations are in progress to release the responsibilities.

About the transition plan for the withdrawal of MONUSCO

As for the transition plan for the withdrawal of MONUSCO from DRC as demanded by the population, the acting special representative of the United Nations General Secretary, Khassim Diagne, also stressed the need to work with the Congolese authorities to see together elements that must be strengthened while taking into account the situation on the ground. « I would like, on behalf of my colleagues accompanying me, on behalf of the Special Representative, to thank the government, the Prime Minister who has just brought us together with some members of the cabinet to take stock of the prevailing security situation, in this moment, to the East and once again to reiterate our full readiness to work with the government to shed light on these facts”, he stressed.

He also recalled that MONUSCO is here in support of the Congolese authorities, a support which, according to him, requires a strong partnership, to try to stabilize the areas still occupied by armed groups. “We have to work in coherence, in harmony.

We have a transition plan. We will therefore have to meet to see which elements need to be accentuated or improved”, added Khassim Diagne. She knew the presence of the various authorities of the United Nations system, in particular the interim special representative of the Secretary-General, the director of political affairs of the United Nations in DRC as well as the Congolese authorities.