DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 5 — The East African Community (EAC) on Monday mourned more than 48 civilians killed in clashes in Goma town in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) following protests Wednesday last week.
A statement issued by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha said the EAC secretary-general Peter Mathuki has learned with deep sorrow the deaths of the civilians in eastern DRC.
The protests that led to the clashes had initially been outlawed by the local authorities, resulting in civilian and security personnel fatalities, several injuries and destruction of property, said the statement.
The statement said Mathuki on behalf of the EAC expressed deepest condolences to the families, friends and population of DRC who have lost their loved ones and wished for the speedy recovery of the injured.
He also called on the DRC government to take all necessary measures to prevent further loss of life and property and to bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice.
The EAC is a regional intergovernmental organization of six countries in Eastern Africa: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. It was established in 1999 with the aim of promoting economic development, regional integration and cooperation among its member states.
The clashes in Goma were the latest in a series of violent protests that have rocked the DRC in recent months. The protests are largely in response to the government’s failure to address the country’s chronic poverty and corruption.
The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been plagued by conflict for decades. The latest violence has displaced thousands of people and caused widespread damage.
The EAC has called on the DRC government to take urgent steps to address the root causes of the violence and to restore peace and stability to the country. (Xinhua)