DRC: Peacekeepers wounded during North Kivu protest

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

More than 30 people, including several peacekeepers, have been wounded during a demonstration by hundreds of civilians displaced by fighting in North Kivu province, according to MONUC, the UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo.

There were unconfirmed reports of one civilian having been killed during the unrest in the town of Rutshuru.

“Stones thrown at the MONUC base wounded four [military] officers and 23 MONUC soldiers, four national police officers and a translator,” said MONUC spokesman Colonel Pierre Chareyron.

He added that some 300 people began demonstrating outside the MONUC base from early in the morning.

They had travelled from the nearby village Jumba to air their grievances about the government’s lack of assistance and delays in deliveries of humanitarian aid. When they came across a MONUC patrol, they started throwing stones, chasing the peacekeepers back to their base, according to Chareyron.

Local police officers then fired into the air to disperse the crowd.

Chareyron said seven civilians had been hurt in a separate scuffle with police some four kilometres from the MONUC base in Rutshuru. In was in this demonstration, according to MONUC-run Radio Okapi, that a civilian was killed.

Source: IRIN