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UN alarmed by excessive use of force by Kabila’s security forces

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Friday evening called for probe over excessive use of force by security officers against demonstrators in Democratic Republic of the Congo cities, Kinshasa and Goma, and called for “a thorough and independent investigation” into the matter.

Yesterday, the team of International Envoys for the Great Lakes Region of Africa expressed their deep concern about recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where more than 13 people have reportedly been killed and more than 30 injured in the context of several days of anti-Government demonstrations in the capital Kinshasa and Goma in the eastern part of the country.

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DRC Security forces trying to calm down protests

The team of envoys called on the DRC Government to exercise restraint, condemned any use of force against peaceful, unarmed demonstrators and arbitrary arrests, and noted that all citizens including demonstrators and their leaders, have a responsibility to pursue political objectives by non-violent means in conformity with relevant national laws.

“We urge the Government to promptly conduct a thorough and independent investigation into any excessive use of force by law enforcement officials and in particular the reported use of live ammunition against protestors,” OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.

The protests, which began on 19 January against the passing of an electoral bill in the lower house of the legislature, had also resulted in the detention of more than 300 individuals across the Democratic Republic of the Congo including prominent members of the opposition and civil society representatives,” Mr. Colville said.

They also encouraged the Government, the opposition, as well as civil society to avail themselves of the good offices of the UN in facilitating an inclusive and transparent dialogue between all stakeholders as per provisions of relevant Security Council resolutions.

Emile Ndayambaje - Imirasire.com

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