UN: Ban condemns deadly DR Congo clashes

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday in New York expressed deep concern about the violent clashes between protesters and security forces in Kinshasa, and several other locations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In a statement obtained by PANA in New York, Ban condemned the violence. which had already led to the death of at least 17 people, including three police officers in the DRC capital, Kinshasa. The opposition says more than 50 people were killed.

The UN chief urged all concerned political leaders and their supporters to refrain from any further violence that could exacerbate the situation, and called on the Congolese authorities to ensure that the national security forces exercise maximum restraint in their response to protests.

He also called on all political leaders to address their differences peacefully and through dialogue, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2277 (2016).

Ban’s call followed similar concern was expressed over the weekend by the UN Mission in the DRC, known by the French acronym MONUSCO, which noted that 16 civil society activists of the Union of Congolese Youth for Change were arrested on 15 and 16 September in Kinshasa while holding an activity on electoral civic education.

The arrests were conducted by ANR and PNC officers.

The mission recalled that the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights enshrined in the Congolese constitution.

Mr. Maman Sambo Sidikou, UN Special Representative in the DRC and Head of MONUSCO, called upon all actors in the political process to "abide by the tenets of the Constitution, including peaceful freedom of expression, whether politicians, civil society activists or media organizations".

The demonstrations were called on Monday to demand that President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the vast country since 2001, steps down on schedule. The opposition says Kabila is scheming to postpone elections to extend his rule after the end of his second term.  

The government has banned demonstrations following the deadly clashes but the opposition is calling for more protests.
-0- PANA AA/MA 20Sept2016

20 سبتمبر 2016 06:18:09

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