United Nations, August 5: The chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed regret on Thursday that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had requested the voice of the peacekeeping mission there to leave the country.
Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, said the representative of the UN mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, "happened to be on leave when that came in" and was out of the country. The MONUSCO spokesman was identified as Mathias Gillman.
"The scenario is, obviously, tense," Dujarric told reporters at a regular briefing. "We are conducting an investigation into what happened last Sunday, where civilians were clearly killed. We should have some, hopefully, preliminary information in the next couple of days."
He said the world body is in touch with the DRC government and local communities "to ensure that there is a very open and frank dialogue with them."
In the Sunday morning incident, Dujarric said early reports indicated members of a battalion of MONUSCO peacekeepers returning from leave were trapped overnight in a "no man's land" after clearing the Uganda checkpoint and before being admitted back into the DRC.