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Police disperse anti-UN protesters in Congo amid tensions

BENI, Congo (AP) Police dispersed about 100 demonstrators in Congos eastern town of Beni on Monday, each day after U.N. peacekeepers time for duty killed three people and wounded greater than a dozen others at the border with Uganda.

Dalzon Mikundi, president of the Beni Urban Youth Council, said they need the U.N. to cover health care for the victims wounded by U.N. peacekeepers amid the ongoing demonstrations demanding that the peacekeepers leave Congo.

Tensions between your population in restive eastern Congo and the U.N. peacekeeping force have risen dramatically during the past about a week, with an increase of than 20 killed in protests calling for the force to leave.

On Sunday, U.N. peacekeepers opened fire on civilians in Kasindi, a border town with Uganda in Congos North Kivu province.

I ask the youth of Beni to place pressure peacefully rather than to belong to vandalism, said Mikundi. I also ask our government to play its role well in securing its population in order not to depend on foreign forces.

The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was outraged by the shooting in Kasindi.

The Secretary-General is both saddened and dismayed by the increased loss of life and serious injuries sustained in this incident. He expresses his deepest condolences to the affected families, individuals of the DRC (Congo) and the Congolese government, the statement said.

He also welcomed investigations in to the incident and said the peacekeepers nation has been contacted to quickly begin judicial proceedings with the participation of victims and witnesses in order that appropriate sanctions could be passed down.

Meanwhile, the U.N. mission in Congo paid homage on Monday in Goma to the soldiers killed amid demonstrations the other day in Goma, Butembo along with other places in eastern Congo. The top of the U.N. Congo mission Bintou Keita, in addition to Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, attended the ceremony.

The government sent a delegation to Goma on the weekend to go to the U.N. facilities and meet the protesters to locate a treatment for the crisis.


AP videojournalist Justin Kabumba contributed from Goma, Congo.

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