Responding to the killing of at least 70 civilians over the last two weeks in eastern DRC, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Seif Magango said:
It is scandalous that civilians are dying day in, day out while the local police and nearby UN peacekeepers stay put in their camps.Seif Magango, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes
“It is scandalous that civilians are dying day in, day out while the local police and nearby UN peacekeepers stay put in their camps. It is high time all entities charged with civilian protection in the DRC, including the UN mission, take steps to fulfill their mandate and bring an end to these killings.
“At the moment, the security and UN forces are utterly failing in their obligation to protect people living in Beni and other places in DRC.”
More than 2,000 civilians have been killed in Beni in attacks by armed groups over the last five years. The attacks are marked by abductions, rape, looting and other human rights violations.
Anger over the lack of protection offered by the DRC authorities and UN peacekeepers has sparked a wave of daily protests in the past week in various cities including Beni, Butembo and Goma. The police have used excessive force to break up these demonstrations, including using live ammunition resulting in the death of one protester in Beni this morning.