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U.S. 'deeply concerned' over DR Congo's deadly political crisis

U.S. 'deeply concerned' over DR Congo's deadly political crisis

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The United States has reacted to political ongoings in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) expressing concern at what it said was disproportionate use of force by security agencies.

The Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and the Embassy in Kinshasa also expressed worry about the disruption of communication networks.

“Deeply concerned about disproportionate use of force in DRC, with deaths & injuries to civilians, restrictions on peaceful assemblies & disruption of communication networks.

“(These) Actions (are) inconsistent with democratic norms, spirit of St Sylvestre Accord & credible electoral process,” a Tweet read.

The St Sylvestre agreement, is a political accord signed on 31 December 2016 under the auspices of the Catholic Church, the Commission Episcopale Nationale du Congo’s (CENCO). Its main principles were for Kabila to step down and for elections to be held in 2017.

Reports indicate that after three days of interruption, internet and SMS services were restored on Monday night.

The government had cut services on the eve of protests against president Joseph Kabila for state security reasons according The Congolese minister of telecommunications, Emery Okundji

The influential Catholic Church and opposition groups on Sunday pushed ahead with banned demonstrations, which were met with a deadly crackdown by authorities.

UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Kabila who has been in power since 2001, to abide by an agreement to step down ahead of elections slated for later this year.

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