Slaugh­ter of DRC pro­test­ers glob­ally con­demned

African Times - - International/Africa - JEAN KASSONGO

THE United Na­tions (UN) has called on au­thor­i­ties in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC) to in­ves­ti­gate the killing of at least six peo­ple dur­ing protests against Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila.

More than 60 peo­ple were in­jured and scores ar­rested this past week­end in the lat­est bru­tal re­ac­tion by se­cu­rity forces to na­tion­wide demon­stra­tions de­mand­ing Ka­bila to quit and pave way for re­forms.

An­tónio Guter­res, UN Sec­re­taryGen­eral, called on the be­lea­guered govern­ment to con­duct a cred­i­ble probe into the blood­shed and hold those re­spon­si­ble ac­count­able.

DRC’s trig­ger-happy forces have rarely been held to ac­count.

Guter­res urged the se­cu­rity forces to ex­er­cise re­straint and up­hold the Con­golese peo­ple’s right to free­dom of speech and peace­ful assem­bly.“He (Guter­res) also calls upon all con­cerned to en­sure full re­spect for places of wor­ship,”Stéphane Du­jar­ric, Guter­res’s spokesman, said.

Ten­sions char­ac­terise the Cen­tral African coun­try af­ter Ka­bila stayed in power de­spite his sec­ond term laps­ing at the end of 2016.

Fresh elec­tions are sched­uled be­fore the end of 2018.

Moussa Faki Ma­hamat, Chair­per­son of the African Union Com­mis­sion (AUC), con­demned the vi­o­lence fol­low­ing the re­cent demon­stra­tions.

He called on all po­lit­i­cal stake­hold­ers to cre­ate a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for the con­duct of free, trans­par­ent and fair elec­tions on De­cem­ber 23.

“All con­cerned must en­sure the elec­toral cal­en­dar is strictly com­plied with,”Ma­hamat said.

Ka­bila (46)as­sumed power when his fa­ther, Lau­rent-Désiré, was as­sas­si­nated in 2001. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2011 amid vote rig­ging al­le­ga­tions. – CAJ News

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