Two people were killed and several injured after UN peacekeepers opened fire during an incident in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo on the border with Uganda on Sunday, the UN said.
Video of the incident circulated on social media shows men, at least one in police uniform and one in army uniform, advancing towards a stationary UN convoy behind a closed barrier in Kasindi.
The city is located in the east of the Beni territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the border with Uganda.
After a verbal altercation, the peacekeepers opened fire before opening the gates, driving on and continuing to shoot while people fled or hid.
“During this incident, soldiers from the MONUSCO Intervention Brigade returning from vacation opened fire on the border post for unknown reasons and broke through,” the UN mission in Kasindi said in a statement.
“This serious incident resulted in loss of life and serious injuries.”
Barthelemy Kambale Siwa, the North Kivu governor’s representative in Kasindi, said earlier that “eight people, including two policemen who were working at the barrier, were seriously injured” in the incident.
Kambale Siwa, in an interview with AFP, did not give a reason why the UN convoy was unable to cross the barrier.
More than 120 militias operate in the troubled east of the DRC. The UN sent an observer mission to the region for the first time in 1999.
In 2010, it became a MONUSCO peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a mandate to conduct offensive operations.
According to the UN, 230 people died among them.
Last week, bloody demonstrations took place in several cities in the east of the DRC demanding the withdrawal of the United Nations.
A total of 19 people were killed, including three peacekeepers.
Anger is fueled by the perception that MONUSCO is not doing enough to stop attacks by armed groups.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix was in the Central African country on Saturday to “talk to the Congolese authorities,” he said.
“(They) will explore ways in which we can avoid repeating these tragic incidents and, above all, work better together to achieve our goals,” he said.
“We hope that the conditions will be met, in particular the restoration of state power, so that MONUSCO can complete its mission as soon as possible. And leave room for other forms of international support.”