Ten people have been killed and 34 injured in fighting between rival ethnic communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Goma, a spokesman for the provincial government said on Tuesday.
The clashes broke out when protests against the U.N.’s MONUSCO peacekeeping mission, which some blame for failing to end to worsening insecurity and militia attacks, descended into violence between the two communities.
Attacks by armed militias and inter-communal violence in Congo’s restive eastern region have killed over 300 people since the start of the year as government troops and U.N. peacekeepers struggle to bring stability in the mineral-rich region.
The governor of North Kivu province, Carly Nzanzu Kasivita, banned all public protests from Monday and called for calm.
“From now on we no longer want public demonstrations in the city of Goma because many people take up arms,” said Nzanzu on a visit on Monday to Buhene, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Goma where the ethnic clashes began.
Fighting between the Nande and Kumu communities was sparked by the killing of two moto-taxi drivers on Sunday, for which one group blamed the other. A number of houses were also burned down, the provincial government said.
Protests erupted against the 12,000-strong U.N. mission in several eastern cities last week.
Demonstrators said they were frustrated at the failure of efforts to stop rising violence around the city of Beni, which officials blame on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan Islamist group that has operated on Congolese soil for decades.
The ADF stepped up deadly raids on villages in retaliation for army operations against it which launched in late 2019.