Congo: Victims Turn On Peacekeepers

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October 24, 2014: In the east (North Kivu province) MONUSCO (UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Congo peacekeepers) facilities and personnel have suffered rock throwing attacks during the last week. The locals are angry over the inability of the peacekeepers to halt the violence from rebels and bandits. Locals are particularly angry about recent attacks by Ugandan rebels crossing the border to plunder and kill civilians. The UN will not pursue the Ugandan attackers across the border. To the locals, the UN appears to be less aggressive against the Ugandan raiders than the local rebels. The trigger for the current upsurge in anti-UN violence was the death of two protesters who attacked peacekeepers on the 21 st , seeking to lynch some of them for not protecting the people. The peacekeepers fought back, killing two of the attackers (who did not have firearms). This brought out more people to protest. For example UN officials at the airport in Beni had to flee a rock throwing crowd of young men. More worrisome for the peacekeepers is that many villages and town neighborhoods are forming self-defense militias. Armed mostly with clubs, knives, machetes and spears, these groups tend to carry out vigilante actions and some turn into bandits.

October 22, 2014: The Central African Republic (CAR) government announced that it will create a rapid intervention force to help protect vulnerable civilians. The force will also lead the effort to rebuild the CAR’s military.

October 21, 2014: UN attack helicopters and armored vehicles have arrived in the Beni region. The helicopters and armor will be used to protect civilians and UN facilities from further attacks by suspected ADF-NALU (Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces) rebels.

October 18, 2014: A rebel group murdered at least 30 people in the town of Beni (North Kivu province, eastern Congo) and the chief suspect was ADF rebels. Villagers had reported a rebel group entering Congo from Uganda.  Some soldiers were sent to the area from a base some 55 kilometers from Beni. This was the second attack in the area within a week.

October 16, 2014: Uganda and South Sudan have signed a new joint military accord. Uganda will begin buying weapons for the government of South Sudan and insists that this will not violate the current ceasefire agreement between the South Sudan government and South Sudanese rebels.

October 14, 2014:  Eight gunmen from the CAR Peoples Democratic Assembly the Central African Republic town of Baboua kidnapped a Polish missionary. Rwandan and Burundi continue to argue over the discovery of 40 bodies on their border in Lake Rweru. Burundi claimed that the bodies were dead Rwandans but Rwanda denied this. Several of the bodies were found in mid-August on the Burundian side of the lake wrapped in plastic sheeting.

October 10, 2014: Gunmen in Bangui (CAR) fired on a UN police patrol and wounded six UN policemen.

October 9, 2014: Gunmen in Bangui ambushed a UN (Pakistan-Bangladesh) convoy and killed one UN peacekeeper from Pakistan and wounded another.

October 8, 2014: In Bangui (capital of the CAR) a new round of clashes between rival militias broke out leaving at least five people dead. A hand grenade attack wounded several civilians in a Bangui street while elsewhere in Bangui a crowd murdered a Muslim man. The murder was described as a revenge slaying for the murder of a taxi driver by Muslims. 

October 3, 2014: The UN warned the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) that it is subject to attack unless its remaining 1,500 fighters in eastern Congo surrender by January 2015 for disarming, surrendering and demobilizing.

October 2, 2014: The 940 FDLR militiamen who have surrendered and are in demobilization camps in the Congo are being neglected and starved by the Congo government. It is believed that at least 100 demobilized FDLR fighters and their family members have died of starvation or disease while in a demobilization camps. This is largely result of government corruption and as news of this sort of thing gets around other rebels are less likely to consider surrendering.  

 

 

 

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