AFRICA/CONGO RD- Tensions with the blue helmets continue; Kinshasa expels UN mission spokesperson

Wednesday, 3 August 2022 un   armed groups  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The government of Kinshasa has asked the UN Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) to remove its spokesman Mathias Gillmann. "In relation to the recent escalation of tensions between MONUSCO and the population, in particular that of North Kivu, tensions resulting mainly from indelicate and inappropriate statements by MONUSCO spokesman Mathias Gillmann, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo considers that the presence of this official on its territory does not favor the climate of mutual trust and serenity that is so essential between the Congolese institutions and MONUSCO", reads the statement from the Kinshasa Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sent to Fides, announcing the expulsion "as soon as possible" of the UN official. The DRC authorities thus wanted to send a signal to the populations of the East who have been rebelling for days against the United Nations military (see Fides, 2/8/2022), accused of not being able to protect them from the actions of the different armed groups that have been wreaking havoc for decades in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu and Ituri. In the assaults on the MONUSCO bases, according to the latest toll published by the government of Kinshasa, 36 people died and 170 were injured. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 3/8/2022)