Gunfire rang out from state forces in the DR Congo town of Beni on Monday as protesters demanding the United Nations’ immediate withdrawal from the city again marched towards the UN headquarters.
State forces blocked hundreds of demonstrators attempting to get close to the UN compound housed inside the airport near Beni, one of two UN bases in the area.
Popular outrage erupted last week over the failure of any of the state or internatonal forces to protect the population from fascist, Islamist forces who operate in the dense forests in the borderlands.
Eight Beni residents were killed on November 24th by the Allied Democratic Forces, the Islamist forces who have received outside support from the global Islamist network.
Last Monday, four people were killed in clashes with security forces after angry demonstrators torched the mayor’s office and attacked several UN buildings in Beni.
Demonstrators accuse both the DRC’s security forces and MONUSCO - one of the world’s biggest ‘peacekeeping’ missions that has operated in DR Congo for the past two decades - of not actually helping the population.
Violence in the region is hampering efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, which has killed 2,200 people since August 2018.