11 Pakistani peacekeepers wounded in DR Congo: UN

By AFP
Published: May 15, 2012

MONUC soldiers of the Pakistan Brigade patrol in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in 2005. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

BUKAVU, DR CONGO: Angry villagers surrounded a UN peacekeeping base in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday and opened fire and hurled stones injuring at least 11 Pakistani peacekeepers, officials said.

The villagers had apparently been angry because they were not protected against attacks by militias. But UN Security Council strongly condemned the attack but also expressed concern about deteriorating security in the conflict prone region.

Villagers marched on the UN base in the Bunyiakiri district of South Kivu province after an overnight attack which reportedly killed six people, a UN spokesman in Kinshasa, Monodje Mounoubai, told AFP.

The residents said the UN troops “did nothing to defend” the village against attack, which was blamed on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, Mounoubai said.

“Shots directed at our troops were fired from this demonstrating crowd” which left the wounded — including two in critical condition, said the spokesman. “Our troops did not return fire because if they had fired there would have been carnage,” he said. “They controlled themselves.”

Pakistan, a current member of the Security Council, asked for a special meeting. A statement agreed by the 15-member body said at least 11 Pakistani troops suffered serious injuries and “condemned in the strongest terms” the attack.

Council members “reiterated their serious concern about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Kivus and the impact on the Congolese population.”

The UN mission in DR Congo reported that “elements” of a Mai-Mai group, the Rai Mutomboki, “may have been part of the protest and may have fired on the peacekeepers,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said. The Rai Mutomboki is an armed self-defence group.

“The mission is monitoring the situation and has sent reinforcements to the area, which is now reportedly calm but tense,” Nesirky said.

Reader Comments (6)

  • roadkashehzada
    May 15, 2012 - 12:07PM

    “Our troops did not return fire because if they had fired there would have been carnage,” when will we learn to respect Pakistani life???let the carnage happen to save one life of pakistani.
    I m sure they would have done the carnage if it had happened within pakistan

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  • Concerned
    May 15, 2012 - 1:59PM

    Why they could not fire in self-defence ? Recommend

  • huzaifa
    May 15, 2012 - 2:03PM

    Again Failure of local commander who was not aware of local sentiments and did not took enough precautionary measures, our Army seriously lacks in sniper training. In this type of situation, the snipers play vital role by pointing out the hostile elements and if necessary by taking them out. The proper sniper school is needed for Pak army where mission oriented and specific to the task training may be imparted. We really need good snipers especially in FATA war, this can reduce our casualties by quantum leap.

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  • vigilant
    May 15, 2012 - 8:45PM

    Troops should have fired back…..with proper skills their should have no carnage

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  • Pakistani
    May 16, 2012 - 12:08AM

    That’s our troops for you, they won’t fire back no matter them. I don’t know whether that’s a blessing or a curse.

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  • khalsa
    May 16, 2012 - 2:37PM

    the PR is an idiot. its un mandate that they cannot reutrn fire onto civilians. its not about carnage etc which the uninformed commander said so but the clear instruction given to the peacekeeping force that they have to maintain the ceasefire between the conflicting forces and protect the civilians.
    they cannot fire at civilians and followed due procedure but why they didnt protected the villagers from brazen attacks- that was under the mandate too.

    seems the soldiers were just having holiday time over there and caught napping by the civilians themselves

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