The East African Community (EAC) has condemned civilian deaths in Eastern Congo following protests that were witnessed last week even as the secretariat says the regional army is working with the government in DRC to restore peace.

EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki said it is regrettable that civilians in Goma town had to lose their lives, following protests that rocked the restive region.

The protests that had initially been outlawed by the local authorities, resulted in civilian and security personnel fatalities, several injuries and destruction of property.

He said the East African Community through the EAC GRegional Force (EACRF) is working closely with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to restore peace and security in Eastern DRC and ensure civilians are protected.

“The Secretary-General on behalf of the East African Community expresses deepest condolences to the families, friends and population of DRC who have lost their loved ones and wishes for the quick recovery of those admitted in various hospitals,” said Mr Mathuki.

Mr Mathuki said EAC maintains its commitment to support the Congolese people and the Government of DRC in ensuring peace and stability returns in Eastern DRC.

He urged the DRC government to conduct an independent investigation on the matter and ensure civilian lives are protected.

The EAC says it acknowledges the multidimensional and complex environment within North Kivu and Goma town in particular, that may have led to the unfortunate incident.

“Indeed, insecurity due to armed groups activities within North Kivu has led to loss of lives and displacement of civilians into camps and thus, resulting in agitations for expeditious resolution,” he said.