Eight civilians were killed and 28 wounded on Tuesday as clashes erupted in the east Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) North-Kivu province after protesters blocked and attacked a convoy of UN peacekeepers.
The casualties were confirmed on Wednesday by Lt. Gen. Constant Ndima, who added that those killed had been displaced by attacks of the allegedly Rwanda-backed M23 rebel group in the territories of Nyiragongo and Rutshuru.
While violence must be condemned, the Congolese people have a right to be upset with the UN peacekeepers. Decades of MONUSCO presence in the country have failed to subside rebel attacks and conflict that have displaced nearly 200K people. Furthermore, the UN mission has neither listened to the Congolese people about their grievances nor denounced Rwanda's involvement in this crisis.
Though it's undeniable that MONUSCO has fallen short of achieving its mandate to stabilize the country and bring peace to eastern Congo, demanding UN peacekeepers leave the country is not a solution. As peacekeepers are the only ones ultimately trying to protect civilians, their departure would benefit only rebels and unscrupulous soldiers.