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Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo deployed tear gas on Monday to disperse demonstrators in Kinshasa, who expressed their anger over eastern Congo’s insecurity by burning US flags and targeting Western embassies and UN offices.

Protesters, taking a new approach by focusing on embassies, argue, “The Westerners are behind the looting of our country, Rwanda doesn’t work alone, so they must leave our country.” This stance is rooted in accusations against the West for allegedly supporting Rwanda, which is implicated in backing the M23 rebellion threatening eastern Congo, a claim Rwanda denies but is supported by allegations from Congo, Western nations, the United States, Belgium, and UN experts.

Despite enhanced security measures following attacks on UN personnel and assets, groups converged on the US and French embassies and the United Nations mission known as MONUSCO. Demonstrators escalated their protest by attempting to damage surveillance equipment and shouted, “Leave our country, we don’t want your hypocrisy.”

The grievances aired included criticisms of the international community’s silence on the violence in Congo and accusations of financial support for Rwanda, with another demonstrator stated, “The international community remains silent while Congolese are being killed; they finance Rwanda.”

In response to the unfolding events, Congo’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula, convened a meeting with ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions, assuring that security measures would be implemented to safeguard their representations.

General Blaise Mbula Kilimba Limba, Kinshasa’s police chief, added, “As you can see, we are ensuring the security of the partner embassies of the Democratic Republic of Congo in accordance with the Vienna Convention.” T


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