The convoy fired ‘warning shots’ that also wounded 28 people in North Kivu province, the UN mission MONUSCO says.
United Nations peacekeepers killed eight civilians during an attack on their supply convoy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the military governor said.
Soldiers fired “warning shots,” which also wounded 28 people in Tuesday’s violence, the governor of North Kivu province said.
A UN convoy was returning from a supply mission north of Goma, the provincial capital, when attackers set fire to four trucks, the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, said on Wednesday.
The attack took place in Kanyaruchinya, where thousands of displaced people live.
MONUSCO said three people were killed when peacekeepers, accompanied by Congolese soldiers, “attempted to protect the convoy”.
“MONUSCO soldiers in charge of security fired warning shots, which unfortunately caused the death of eight of our compatriots among the displaced and 28 wounded,” Lt. Gen. Constant Ndima, the governor’s spokesman, said on Wednesday. He said an investigation would be done.
MONUSCO did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.
One of the largest and most expensive UN missions in the world, MONUSCO, has been in the DRC since 1999 and has around 16,000 peacekeepers.
Residents accuse him of failing to deal with dozens of armed groups operating in eastern DRC, including the M23 rebels.
The group has seized swathes of territory since its resurgence in November 2021 despite a peace plan drawn up in Angola last July and the deployment of East African Community forces in November.
The DRC has accused Rwanda of supporting M23, a charge confirmed by UN experts and Western countries, although Kigali has denied the allegations.
Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb, reporting from a camp for displaced people west of Goma, said thousands of people had arrived in the past few days, fleeing the advance of the M23 fighting government forces.
“This camp has at least doubled in size since we first got here a few days ago,” Webb said.
“[M23] has gone from strength to strength since resuming operations just over a year ago. This is what brought him close to the city of Saka, only 10 km away [6 miles] far.
“The new arrivals have told harrowing stories of events they say took place over the past week, where M23 fighters, according to the testimony of people in the camp, rounded up civilians in villages, killing some with machetes, some shot dead,” Webb said.
Protests against peacekeepers have grown in recent months. In July, protesters stormed MONUSCO facilities in Goma, Butembo, Beni and other cities, demanding the departure of peacekeepers.
At least 36 people were killed, including four UN soldiers, according to authorities.
A South African peacekeeper was killed and another seriously wounded on Sunday when their helicopter was fired upon in North Kivu.
Last March, eight peacekeepers were killed when their helicopter crashed near a battle between the Congolese army and M23.
Militias have ravaged the mineral-rich eastern DRC for decades, many of them a legacy of regional wars that flared up in the 1990s and early 2000s.