Civilians attack U.N. peacekeeping convoy in eastern Congo

CIVILIANS attacked a United Nations peacekeeping convoy in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday evening, injuring two people, the U.N. mission said.

The convoy was attacked when it stopped at an army checkpoint near an internally displaced person site in Kanyarutshinya, 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the city of Goma.

A crowd assembled and threw stones at the convoy, setting fire to at least one truck, the U.N. mission, MONUSCO, said on Twitter. U.N. peacekeepers fired warning shots into the air and finally left the zone, it said.

Frustration has grown in the region this year with the U.N. mission, which civilians accuse of failing to protect them from worsening militia violence. Dozens were killed in anti-U.N. protests in July.

Fighting resumed between the M23 rebel group and the Congolese army on Oct. 20, causing at least 90,000 people to flee their homes since. The U.N. and the African Union have urged a de-escalation and immediate end to the hostilities.

“Our wish is that MONUSCO leaves our country. Because we don’t see why they are here,” said Jackson Fiki Kalimunda, 29, who fled from his home to Kanyarutshinya because of the conflict.

Earlier on Tuesday, the U.N. announced a “strategic and tactical” withdrawal of 450 peacekeepers from Rumangabo, located further north, near Virunga Park.

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