UN regrets expulsion of mission’s spokesperson in Congo

 THE UN has expressed regrets over the expulsion of Mr Mathias Gillman, the spokesman of the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO),  from the country.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told journalists in New York on Thursday that the UN has continued to engage with authorities in DRC in the wake of the deadly shooting this past weekend involving peacekeepers from MONUSCO.

According to Dujarric, on Thursday the head of UN Peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, briefed a closed-door session of the Security Council to discuss the situation in the country.

Ambassadors met a day after Congolese authorities officially expelled Gillman from the country, allegedly  for making “indelicate and inappropriate remarks” following recent deadly protests in the east.

“In line with the status of the UN under the Charter of the Organisation, any concerns that the government may have regarding the actions of a member of MONUSCO should be raised directly with the mission leadership.

“The mission and UN Headquarters are accordingly engaging with the government to address this matter,” Dujarric said.

MONUSCO also lamented the government’s decision.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the mission underscored its commitment “to continuing to work alongside the Congolese population and authorities to implement the mandate entrusted to it by the Security Council.”

The shooting incident occurred on Sunday in Kasindi, a town in North Kivu province, on the border between the DRC and Uganda.

The peacekeepers were returning from leave when they opened fire at a border post, under circumstances which are not yet clear. Two people were killed, and several others wounded, according to media reports.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres was “outraged” by the “serious incident”, in addition to being saddened and dismayed over the loss of lives and the injuries sustained, according to a statement issued that day by his spokesperson.

The secretary-general strongly emphasised the need to establish accountability and welcomed MONUSCO’s decision to immediately open an investigation. (NAN)


Contact Us