Goma : several dead and injured in anti-Monusco demonstrations and against the EAC regional force

Goma : several dead and injured in anti-Monusco demonstrations and against the EAC regional force

Several people were killed on Wednesday in the city of Goma, capital of North Kivu in the east of the DRC in demonstrations organized by a mystical-religious sect. According to our count, at least 28 people are dead and nearly 50 others injured. The military authorities speak of six deaths on the demonstrators side and one death on the police side. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The morning of this Wednesday, August 30, 2023 was eventful with strikes and demonstrations of all forms in the city of Goma. Followers of the “Uwezo wa neno” church known as Wazalendu tried to protest against the presence of MONUSCO (United Nations Mission in the DRC) and the regional force of the EAC in the North Kivu province. The demonstration was dispersed by the police and repressed in blood.

These Congolese say they are tired by the presence of foreign soldiers who, according to them, are “rascals”.

“We no longer want the presence of MONUSCO here because they do not help us in any way”, protesters chanted in the streets of Goma.

“It’s been 22 years since the United Nations deployed its troops here but massacres of civilians are still our daily bread and human rights violations in all their forms. We really can’t take it anymore, we demand the departure of all foreign soldiers”, said protester Paluku Kavungera.

At least 28 dead

According to our count, at least 28 civilians were killed in scuffles with law enforcement.

“In the Ndosho neighborhood, 7 deaths were reported, in the Majengo district 5 deaths, in the city center, more than 13 deaths including a pregnant woman, in Mutinga in the Katoyi neighborhood, 3 people were killed”, said a reporter from SOS Médias Burundi. There would have been other deaths in Mugunga but we have not been able to count them.

Dozens injured

According to our observation on the ground, several health structures in the city of Goma were overwhelmed by the number of injured.

This is the case, for example, of the BETSAIDA CEBCA NDOSHO hospital center in the district of Goma. It received 21 seriously injured people. They are bedridden there.
Among them, 18 men, the rest being women and minor girls.

“They were all shot.”

At the Docs Kyeshero hospital located in the commune of Karisimbi, we noted 13 injured including 8 young boys. The rest are women and children.

Other injured people encountered are interned at the Turunga health center in the Munigi groupment in Nyiragongo territory. Here, we can count 14 injured, a good number of them men over 30 years old and young people whose ages vary between 17 and 25 years old.

Several of them were shot in the legs, chest or arms.

The official FARDC press release gives the toll of 7 dead and a few injured. Colonel Guillaume Ndjike Kaiko, spokesperson for the Congolese army in North Kivu, speaks of “a police officer stoned to death and several wounded soldiers”. He confirms the death of six demonstrators and at least “158 arrests”.

Figures rejected by several social strata that closely followed the demonstration.

A journalist briefly arrested

During these demonstrations, journalists were brutalized while carrying out their work.
Among them we can cite Austere Malivika, correspondent of the Voice of America in the Kiswahili service. He was apprehended by security services early in the morning when he tried to take the images at the place commonly known as Terminus Katindo.
He was released after two hours of detention in one of the Congolese national police cells in Goma, after being forced to delete all the images he had taken.

Church burned by security agents

Note that during this demonstration, the “Uwezo Wa neno Wazalendu” church was set on fire by security agents.
The church leader, Bertin Bisimwa, who is also the initiator of this march, was arrested by the police and quickly transported to the Goma garrison prison.

Since Tuesday evening, the city’s mayor had banned all forms of demonstrations in his constituency.

Last year, at least 36 civilians were murdered in anti-Monusco protests in several towns in eastern Congo and more than 170 others injured, according to a Congolese government report.

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