Congolese authorities have refused to give the death toll of the people killed during the “anti-banditry” operation Likofi.
This is according to the United Nations and Human Rights Organisation which estimated that several tens of thousands of people lost their lives between November 2013 and February 2014.
“In every police operation, people can surrender, those who fiercely resisted and who even used firearms. But I say, with great respect, that the government will not present the number of those who died as an award,” said Evariste Boshap, Interior Minister in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Human rights groups suggested that police went too far with the operation and claimed many young men had been arbitrarily executed in the process.
A UN report published in October 2014 said that at least 41 people were killed or had disappeared due to police brutality.
Otherwise known as “Operation Punch”, it was a police crackdown on the most dangerous gangs in the capital Kinshasa aimed at restoring peace.
The Interior Ministry has however refuted the claims announcing another operation against armed groups following a resurgence of attacks in the region.