Demonstrators in DR Congo Set Fire to U.S. and Belgian Flags, Targeting Western Embassies

Credits: VOA

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), law enforcement deployed tear gas on Monday to disband demonstrators who set ablaze tires and flags belonging to the United States and Belgium near Western embassies and UN premises in Kinshasa, the nation’s capital.

The protests erupted in response to the prevailing insecurity in the eastern region of the DRC. Taking a novel approach, protesters targeted embassies to voice their grievances, alleging that Western powers are endorsing neighboring Rwanda.

Rwanda stands accused of supporting the Tutsi-led M23 insurgency, which poses a direct threat to the strategically significant city of Goma in the eastern part of the country.

DR Congo Setting Ablaze U.S. and Belgian Flags (Credits: Reuters)

Despite Rwanda’s denial of the allegations, the DRC, along with Western governments such as the United States and Belgium, as well as a United Nations expert panel, maintains that the rebel faction receives backing from Rwanda.

Following the assault on UN personnel and vehicles on Saturday, security measures were heightened. Nevertheless, groups of demonstrators congregated at the US and French embassies, as well as at the offices of the UN mission in the DRC, known as Monusco.

During the protests, some individuals hurled stones in an attempt to damage surveillance cameras at a US embassy office, while others vocalized slogans denouncing Western interference, declaring, “Leave our country, we reject your duplicity.”

Pepin Mbindu, one of the participants in the protest, articulated, “Western nations are complicit in the plundering of our nation. Rwanda does not act alone, therefore they must vacate our land.”