Now the DRC says it will also speed up the departure of Monusco after the violent demonstrations that caused the deaths of 37 people and left 170 others injured, according to official figures
The Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the spokesperson of the UN peacekeepers’ mission in the country to leave in an indication of collapsing relations spiked by protests against the foreign troops.
And officials on Wednesday said the falling axe would start with Mathias Gilmann, the spokesman of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo commonly known as Monusco.
Mr Gilmann has been the face of the mission’s battle against deadly protests since last week, including violent confrontations in which soldiers, police and civilians were killed.
Now the DRC says it will also speed up the departure of Monusco after the violent demonstrations that caused the deaths of 37 people and left 170 others injured, according to official figures.
Government Spokesman Patrick Muyaya said Kinshasa would bring closer the previously established plan with the UN Security Council for the troops to leave.
It provided that the peacekeepers who have been in DR Congo since 1999 gradually and permanently leave the DRC by 2024.
But Mr Muyaya said that the breakdown of trust between the peacekeepers and civilians, the persistence of insecurity and recent statements by the Monusco spokesman that the mission does not have the military means to fight the M23 have pushed the Congolese authorities to shorten the deadline for the withdrawal of Monusco peacekeepers.
A commission will be set up to define the structure of this withdrawal, Muyaya announced during a press conference televised on RTNC, the state TV.
He was flanked by Julien Paluku, the Minister for Industry, a former governor of North Kivu, and Modeste Mutinga, Minister for Social Affairs.
They had all returned from Goma and Butembo, the epicenter of protests.
They said they had examined the situation and “listened to the protesters”, for their demands for the withdrawal of Monusco.
The initial plan of the UN Security Council had already begun, however.
It has seen Monusco completely withdraw from Tanganyika Province in the south and Kasai Central in central DR Congo.
The Congolese government has, in the meantime, decided to open investigations together with Monusco to determine the perpetrators of the fatal shootings.
Monusco has admitted that its soldiers “returning from leave” shot and killed three civilians on the border with Uganda.
Congolese authorities have not disclosed the identities and nationalities of the intervention brigade soldiers who killed three civilians on Sunday in Kasindi, North Kivu.