AFRICA/CONGO DR - The army and the UN did not intervene to stop the massacre in Mutarule, HRW denounces

Monday, 7 July 2014

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The massacre of thirty civilians on June 6 in the village of Mutarule, in South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo could have been avoided (see Fides 12/06/2014), if the UN Peacekeepers and Congolese military, stationed nearby, had intervened on time. This was denounced in a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), sent to Fides Agency by local missionary sources.
According to the report, the massacre was committed by men in military uniform who spoke Kirundi and kinyamulenge, who attacked 200 people gathered in a place of Pentecostal worship.
The attackers stormed in the place of worship and started firing, and then attacked a health center and a few houses. At least 30 civilians were killed and several others were injured.
According to Human Rights Watch, the villagers had asked a detachment of the Congolese army which was 9 kilometers from Mutarule and also a contingent of Peacekeepers of MONUSCO (the UN Mission in the DRC) for help. "The Congolese army and the UN peacekeeping forces left the civilians in Mutarule to be massacred, even though they had received desperate calls for help at the beginning of the attack", said a leader of the humanitarian organization. "The army and MONUSCO have to find out how these failures occurred and to ensure that these atrocities are not repeated". The area where the massacre took place has been disputed for decades between indigenous peoples and others from Burundi and Rwanda. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/07/2014)