THE United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said it will investigate new allegations relating to clashes between peacekeepers and Congolese military in the east of the country.
The inquiry will be carried out after a UN Security Council report found that two Tanzanian peacekeepers who were killed in a May ambush in Beni territory, North Kivu, were shot by Congolese soldiers and not by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces, as the peacekeeping mission had first reported, a UN official said.
“Our investigation showed that it was the ADF that attacked our troops,” Maman Sambo Sidikou, the head of the UN’s mission in Congo, known as Monusco, told reporters Saturday, in the capital, Kinshasa. “Now there are new allegations and we will lead a more in-depth inquiry.”
The UN currently has about 20,000 military personnel in the Congo, the world’s largest source of cobalt and Africa’s biggest copper and tin producer.
The majority are stationed in the east of the country, where dozens of armed groups remain active more than a decade after the end of Congo’s civil war in 2003. The ADF, a Uganda-based insurgent group, has operated along Congo’s border since the late 1990s.
The Security Council report, which was published on a New York-based blog, Inner City Press, accused the Congolese army of firing on the peacekeepers after “they had been told by two civilians that the Tanzanians were providing supplies to the ADF.”
The UN Group of Experts that authored the report wrote that it was “not in a position to explain why” the Tanzanian peacekeepers were meeting with the rebels.
In January, the UN mission reached an agreement to restart joint military operations with Congo’s army against one of the largest remaining rebel groups in the region, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.