Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Friday condemned the continued attacks on civilians in the town of Beni in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the resultant violent demonstrations against the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) peacekeepers.

On Sunday, eight people were killed while nine were kidnapped in an overnight attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels leading to protests against the UN mission’s perceived failure to protect Beni residents.

Hundreds of protesters then stormed the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission compound in Beni, with reports of looting and vehicles being set on fire.

In a statement Friday, SADC chair of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the continued attacks in Beni had resulted in the deaths of approximately 80 people, as well as the injury and displacement of many others, Zimbabwe’s state news agency New Ziana reported.

“SADC is resolute in voicing its condemnation of the attacks that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continue to perpetrate on the civilian population in the DRC.

“As a result of the attacks, the response to the deadly Ebola Virus Disease has also been disrupted. This poses a huge risk of Ebola spreading beyond the current epicenter of the disease, which may lead to more deaths,” Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa urged the DRC government to take all necessary measures to protect civilians, and end violence perpetrated against peacekeepers.

The mineral rich DRC has been plagued by unending conflicts over the years which have claimed millions of lives.

The situation has been compounded by sporadic outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus which has also claimed thousands of lives. Enditem

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