United Nations forces have succeeded in countering an attempted attack, that was led by five or six men on one of their headquarters in Biakato, Ituri province, overnight, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The attacks on UN bases have been ongoing for months, as for example when three Ebola workers were murdered on November 28th, when an armed group attacked a complex, also in Biakato.
Following years of unrest including a surge of conflicts in DRC by militias exploiting the country’s mineral wealth, both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Doctors Without Borders have called back their non-Congolese workers from the region this week.
The continuous confrontations have recently intensified, with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) carrying out a violent bloodbath in order to discourage civilians from helping the army, after the Congolese army launched operations towards the end of October, against the ADF.
According to local media sources, up until the end of October, the army had been significantly increasing the number of personnel in the Beni region. Later in October, the government stated that there were 21,000 soldiers in Beni, almost double the number previously stationed there. President Felix Tshisekedi ordered the increase “to launch a final assault against all national and foreign armed groups with a view to restoring total peace in the Far North.”
Nonetheless, protests have been increasing in the eastern city of Beni, with denizens accusing the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), of failing to protect them against the ADF.
It is believed that MONUSCO is considered one of the biggest UN peacekeeping operations in the world and comprises more than 16,500 military personnel and observers, 1,300 police and at least 4,000 civilians, yet at least eight people have recently been murdered in anti-MONUSCO demonstrations since November 23rd, according to AFP.