UN peacekeeper killed in clashes in eastern DRC

# 19:06
19 December 2016

Mai Mai militiamen on Monday morning killed a UN peacekeeper during an attack on Butembo town in North Kivu province, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), APA reports.


Two peacekeepers were also injured in the attack while five militia fighters were also killed and two others captured, according to police.


The attack occurred as the government had put security organizations in the whole country on high alert because the opposition had threatened to hold massive demonstrations on Monday should President Joseph Kabila not leave power. Kabila's term officially ended Monday but he has not shown signs of leaving.


According to police officer Anthony Kasingi, the militiamen attempted to attack the town hall, a UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) office, the police headquarters and the central prison in Butembo but were pushed back by the army and MONUSCO.


''The army and MONUSCO responded to the attack and clashes went on for over three hours," said Kasingi.


MONUSCO spokesman Félix Basse confirmed the attack as well as the killing of a UN peacekeeper on UN radio.


Jimmy Nanga, a resident of Butembo said ''Just as I was about to get out of my bed I heard terrible noise from gunfire. I stayed in my house for several hours and came out after guns became silent.''


Mai Mai militias were initially created to ward off armed groups, mainly coming from neighboring Rwanda.