A former militiaman was shot dead on Sunday when the army dispersed a demonstration against poor living conditions in a camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official said.
Hundreds of demobilised militiamen blocked a strategic road that supplies Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, for five hours.
The road is used to transport food stocks and minerals.
“The toll is one dead and three injured,” local official Mwami Bauma Bisubu told AFP.
No army official was immediately available for comment about the shooting.
“We demand to leave the Mubambiro camp. Here there is no food, there is no medical care. Now they are starting to kill us with bullets,” one of the protesters, Jospin Kambale, said.
Another former militiaman died during the night due to a lack of food and medical care, three other protesters all told AFP.
Jacques Katembo, an official with the government programme to demobilise and reintegrate into society former militiamen, said the Mubambiro camp had been created in 2019 to accommodate around 1,000 people.
“But because of poor conditions more than half returned to the bush,” he said.
Eastern DR Congo has been destabilised for more than two decades by the presence of local and foreign armed groups.
Several demobilisation programmes initiated by the government and its partners in the United Nations have produced mixed results.
To tackle the problem, the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri have been placed under a state of emergency since May 6 by President Felix Tshisekedi, who appointed army personnel and police to replace civilian authorities.