‘Disturbing level’ of violence in DRC – UN
KINSHASA: The security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to be a major source of concern, with violence in the Kasai provinces reaching “disturbing” levels, the UN Security Council says.
Presenting the latest report, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who recently visited the country, urged the council to support the government and people to preserve the gains of the past 17 years.
“The current political impasse requires a concerted response from regional and international partners,” Lacroix said.
“This must aim to help create the conditions for a successful transition and the holding of free, fair and inclusive elections,” he stressed, with a nod to a political agreement signed last year which specified that elections would be held by the end of this year.
The agreement – facilitated by Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo mediators, and reached in DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, on December 31, allowed President Joseph Kabila to stay in power beyond the end of his term.
Lacroix said implementation “remains largely inadequate.”
“At a time when the DRC is at the mid-point of its transition, it is more necessary than ever for national political actors to remobilise the political agreement of December 31, 2016,” the senior UN official stressed.
Lacroix underscored his commitment “to ensuring Monusco delivers on its core mandated objectives as efficiently and effectively as possible” while responding to the changing situation on the ground.
Monusco (the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC) is undergoing a review, which will probably result in shifts in its structure and mandate.
Amid the political impasse, the focus is on rising insecurity, with particular concern over violence in the Kasai provinces, and a recent increase in inter-ethnic violence there.
“Disturbing reports of human rights violations and abuses continue to be received on a daily basis.”
Dozens of mass graves have been reported so far, and the national investigation efforts are “slow,” he said. Between May and June, the number of displaced persons increased by 26% to 1.3 million, according to UN figures.
He stressed UN’s continued focus on ensuring those responsible for the killing of UN human rights workers Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan, are brought to justice.