The Democratic Republic of the Congo has requested that the UN peacekeeping mission’s spokesperson (Monusco) leave the country, signaling a breakdown in ties that has been sparked by protests against the foreign soldiers.
Mathias Gillmann, who has represented the mission in its fight against local protesters, is being expelled due to “indelicate and inappropriate statements” he made, according to a letter from the authorities.
“The government would very much appreciate that action be taken for Mr. Mathias Gillmann to leave Congolese territory as soon as possible.”The statement said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Christophe Lutundula wrote to Monusco in the letter that “in view of the current regrettable exacerbation of tensions between the civilian and Monusco in North Kivu, tensions due to the indelicate and inappropriate statements of the Monusco spokesman, Mr. Matthias Gilmann, the government of the DRC considers that his presence on national territory is not likely to promote a climate of confidence and serenity, which is so essential between the Congolese institutions and Monusco”.
Christophe Lutundula, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs /Teller Report/
Last week, anti-Monusco protests broke out in several areas of eastern Congo, resulting in the deaths of 36 people, including four UN forces. Additionally, 170 individuals have reportedly been hurt, according to government statistics.
The impression that peacekeepers haven’t done enough to end the region’s prolonged armed war has fueled the fury. In the volatile east, where more than 120 militias are active, killings of civilians are still frequent.