AFRICA/DR CONGO - The military parade through the streets of Goma to "reassure the population" and silence the protests

Wednesday, 8 February 2023 un   armed groups   military  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - In Goma, the protests against the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) and the Blue Helmets of MONUSCO, accused of lack of action against the rebel advance towards the capital of North Kivu, worsen (see Fides, 6/2/2023).
Along with the roadblocks, the closure of schools and shops, and student marches, there has been the looting of shops and at least one evangelical church attended by the local Tutsi community. MONUSCO has reported that at least three people were killed yesterday, February 7, during an assault on a truck convoy returning to the North Kivu capital from a supply mission in Kiwanja, some 70 km north of Goma. The convoy of Blue Helmets, which was accompanied by soldiers from the Congolese army (FARDC), was attacked shortly before its arrival in Goma by protesters who blocked the road with large stones, forcing the convoy to stop.
The assailants then set fire to four trucks from which they stole the cargo. "Unfortunately, three people lost their lives during the riots, while the Blue Helmets and FARDC tried to protect the convoy", MONUSCO says.
Also yesterday, in order to try to restore order in Goma, the Congolese soldiers officially marched in the city to "reassure" the population, marching in two columns on the sides of the main streets of the city. A military spokesman said that "it is necessary to deal with enemy maneuvers aimed at sowing psychosis in the population of Goma that the city is not defended by the national army." It should also be noted that there have been reports of clashes between the M23 and Congolese army soldiers in the Masisi territory. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/2/2023)