UN: UN Mission in DRC deplores loss of life as police, protesters clash in Kinshasa

New York, US (PANA) - Mr. Martin Kobler, head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), on Tuesday condemned the deaths and injuries that occurred when protests turned violent on Monday in the country’s capital, Kinshasa.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York, quoted Mr. Kobler, as deploring the deaths and injuries following the clashes as "a result of violent demonstrations and the ensuing use of lethal force by the security force."

He stated: "The use of force by law enforcement officers must always be necessary, proportionate, and a measure of last resort."

"I also appeal to the opposition to demonstrate peacefully. Protests must be calm and carried out in compliance with the law," Mr. Kobler said.

The statement said that, preliminary reports put the estimated toll at several dead and injured among both the demonstrators and the law enforcement officers.

According to MONUSCO, the demonstrations came following the opposition’s call for protests against the revision of the electoral law voted by the National Assembly on Saturday.

It said that demonstrators gathered in front of the 'Palais du Peuple' and a violent crackdown by security forces with tear gas and live ammunition ensued.

It also reported that clashes with law enforcement officers took place in Lemba, Matete, Ngaba and Victoire, neighbourhoods surrounding the 'Palais du Peuple' in Kinshasa and in some districts of the capital city, shops were looted and buses torched.

The Mission also said protests took place on Monday in Goma, in North Kivu province and Bukavu, in South Kivu province.
-0- PANA AA/MA 20Jan2015

20 january 2015 20:54:01

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