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Heavy gunfire erupts as DR Congo's anti-UN protests continue

Heavy gunfire erupts as DR Congo's anti-UN protests continue

Gunfire rang out in the DR Congo town of Beni on Monday as protesters demanding the United Nations' withdrawal from the city again marched towards the UN headquarters.

Security forces blocked hundreds of demonstrators attempting to get close to the UN compound housed inside the airport near Beni, one of two UN bases in the area.

Anger erupted last week over the perceived failure of UN peacekeepers to protect civilians from deadly rebel attacks with several mass demonstrations targeting UN facilities in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Demonstrators accuse both the DRC's security forces and MONUSCO - one of the world's biggest peacekeeping missions that have operated in DR Congo for the past two decades - of not doing enough to stop rebel attacks on civilians.

The DRC's volatile east is home to many armed groups, including ADF, vying for control of the mineral-rich region.

Violence in the region is hampering efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, which has killed 2,200 people since August 2018.


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