DRC: UN calls for investigations over Violence in the DRC on December 31

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The head of peacekeeping operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, accuses the Congolese security forces of preventing the MONUSCO teams from patrolling the march of 31 December. He said it on Tuesday before the Security Council. He asks the DRC to conduct investigations. He stressed that the situation in the DRC remains “fragile” because of delays in the implementation of the political agreement signed a year ago.

UN Under-Secretary-General for UN peacekeeping operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Tuesday called for ” investigations ” into the perpetrators of the 31 December violence committed by Congolese security forces against civilians.

It is essential that the competent national authorities carry out the necessary investigations to establish the responsibilities and bring to justice the alleged perpetrators of human rights violations

He also ” deplored (e) hindrances ” to the work of the Blue Helmets that day by the security forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to the UN and the apostolic nunciature, at least five people have died in the dispersal of marches organized on December 31 at the call of laypeople close to the Church who asked President Joseph Kabila to declare publicly that he would leave power and would not represent itself.

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According to the nunciature, 134 parishes were encircled and five masses interrupted on December 31st. ” The political situation remains extremely fragile ” and ” the security situation of the most worrying, ” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix. ” Dialogue remains the only way ” to get the country out of the crisis, he added, warning against any further delay in the electoral calendar.

French Ambassador to the UN François Delattre ” strongly condemned the violence ” committed by the security forces and called for ” effective implementation ” of the electoral calendar.

On the same line, his Ivorian counterpart Bernard Tanoh-Boutchoue called on all actors in the DRC to ” restrain ” and ” avoid violent demonstrations “.

Cenco members traveling to Brazzaville

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A delegation from the DRC Bishops’ Conference (Cenco) crossed the river on Tuesday 9 February to be received in Brazzaville by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, currently head of the ICGLR and also in charge of monitoring the agreement. framework for peace and security in the DRC.

Eight days after the repression of the march of December 31 initiated by the Catholic laity, the Cenco, already criticized by the presidential majority for its support to the demonstrators, insists that the situation prevailing in the DRC is not to take the slight.

This is the third meeting between Cenco and President Sassou Nguesso for a year. And this time, the initiative goes back to the bishops. Father Donatien Nshole, their spokesperson, spoke after the meeting. For him, we must not underestimate the situation, and in this context of crisis, the DRC’s neighbors have a role to play, to ” satisfy the aspirations of the Congolese people ” and avoid the worst.

” If we do not pay attention, if we take lightly the situation, we risk to live the worst, it is to prevent. ”

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In the eyes of the Cenco, the new electoral calendar that provides for a presidential end 2018 is ” tenable “. But for these elections to be credible and lasting out of the crisis, we must clean up the political climate … and take the measures provided for in the New Year’s Eve agreement. This is also what the demonstrators demanded on December 31st. A message to which President Sassou would not have remained insensitive, according to the spokesman of the Cenco. ” He said he would not behave as if he did not see things coming, so whatever he can, he will do it. ”

For his part, President Sassou delivered a message of ” appeasement ” according to his entourage. Congo-Brazzaville, like Angola, still fears the consequences that would have for them a possible destabilization of their huge Congolese neighbor.

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