Soldiers massacre dozens in DRC clashes

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA –THE Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) this week killed over 100 people during clashes with members of a local militia in the central parts of the country.

Some 39 women are reported to have been caught in the crossfire and are among the dead.

The clashes have occurred in the territory of Dibaya in Kasai Central Province between the armed forces and members of the Kamuina Nsapu militia, who are loyal to a local chief killed by the army in August last year.

Much of the latest violence is said to have happened in and around the town of Tshimbulu.

FARDC soldiers have reportedly opened fire indiscriminately with machine guns when they saw the militia fighters, who were armed mainly with machetes and spears.

Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell, expressed concern at the deaths, which if confirmed would suggest excessive and disproportionate use of force by the soldiers.

“We condemn any excessive use of force and call on the FARDC soldiers to abide by acceptable standards of national law and international human rights law in their responses, in particular to exercise restraint and to use force only when necessary and proportionate to the threat, to minimize damage and injury and to respect and preserve human lives.”

She meanwhile condemned the militia’s recruitment of children into its ranks and government buildings, police stations and churches.

UNHCR has documented atrocities by both sides and offered support to authorities to investigate serious human rights violations.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Feb 16 2017. Filed under Africa & World, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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