Troubled DRC now under UN spotlight
From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – CRISIS-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now under the scrutiny of the United Human Rights Council, a move seen as a strong political move essential to respond to the human rights crisis unfolding in the country.
With the move, the UN is sending a message to President Joseph Kabila to respect the rule of law, the Constitution and the electoral process or risk being held to account before the international community for the human rights violations ongoing in his country.
“The UN has just sent President Kabila a crystal-clear message,” said Dimitris Christopoulos, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) president.
“By doing so, the Human Rights Council reminded us that respect for democratic elections and human rights are interrelated, in the DRC and elsewhere.”
The UN resolution expresses deep concern over the violence committed in the context of elections, including the use of disproportionate force against demonstrators who demand that Kabila leave office at the end of his second constitutionally-mandated term, on December 19.
It also raises increasing restrictions on fundamental freedoms, in particular arbitrary detentions, and threats against civil society, journalists and members of political parties, and restrictions to freedoms of expression and assembly.
Law enforcement forces have embarked on a brutal crackdown on demonstrations against Kabila clinging to power. Government has authorized the crusade.
Several dozen civilians have killed particularly in the capital Kinshasa.
Security forces have used live ammunition on protestors.
Over 1 000 demonstrators, including political opposition, independent civil society members and journalists have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, some of them incommunicado.
– CAJ News
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