On Thursday, Congolese police fired live rounds to disperse protesters demanding the departure of the United Nations peacekeeping mission from the city of Beni, its mayor and witnesses said.
Hundreds of youths have been protesting in several cities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Monday, angry that the U.N. mission, known as MONUSCO, has failed to prevent a wave of civilian killings by armed groups.
“This morning the police are clearing the blocked roads, that’s why there is shooting all over the city,” he said.
A local police spokesman confirmed that they were clearing blocked roads and “re-establishing order”.
Heavy gunfire started around 7:00 am local time (0500 GMT) and was continuing three hours later, a witness said.
At least one protester was seriously injured by gunshot, said Clovis Mutsova, a member of youth activist group LUCHA.
“We only demand two things: for MONUSCO to leave and for the Congolese government to take its responsibility so that we can have peace,” Mutsova said.