Updated: Wed, 27 Jul 2022 08:59 AM IST
Two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel on a UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo on Tuesday succumbed to fatal injuries they had received during violent anti-UN protests. A senior BSF officer said that they were in touch with the authorities and reinforcements of the UN Force (Army component) on their way to the site. The two soldiers were part of MONUSCO - the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in DR Congo.
"On 26 July, two BSF personnel of the UN Peacekeeping Contingent (MONUSCO) deployed at Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo, succumbed to fatal injuries during the violent armed protests," a spokesperson for the Border Security Force (BSF) said.
Earlier, some groups had given a call for week-long agitation throughout DR Congo. The situation turned violent in Goma (about 350 Km South of Beni and a big MONUSCO base) with looting and arson. Both Beni and Butembo, where 2 BSF platoons were deployed, were on high alert.
However, on Tuesday the situation in Butembo turned violent. The camp of Morroco Rapid Deployment where BSF platoons were stationed was surrounded by demonstrators. Congolese Police (PNC) and Congolese Army (FARDC) troops arrived but could not control the violent crowd estimated to be at over 500.
To contain the situation, Congolese troops fired in the air and BSF troops fired smoke shells to disperse the crowd. However, the violent groups managed to breach the perimeter wall in three different places. There were reports that armed rebels had infiltrated the demonstrators. A second attack was more fierce and accompanied by fire from small arms. Morrocan and Indian troops fired in self-defence.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he was deeply grieved at the loss of the two valiant Indian peacekeepers and demanded that the perpetrators of the "outrageous attacks" must be held accountable and brought to justice.
"Deeply grieved at the loss of lives of two valiant Indian peacekeepers of the BSF in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were part of the MONUSCO. The perpetrators of these outrageous attacks must be held accountable and brought to justice," External Affair Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.
(With ANI Inputs)