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UN Security Council to renew mandate of peacekeeping mission in DRC

UN Security Council to renew mandate of peacekeeping mission in DRC

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The UN Security Council will on Wednesday renew the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

But rights organisations say as that happens, the government should prioritize ending political repression and ensure that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and right to freedom of expression are respected in the pre-electoral process.

The country is expected to head to the polls in November.

Rights organizations are particularly concerned about the killing and detention of civilians during peaceful protests.

Latest incidents include the killing of 42 protesters in January during peaceful protests organized by those opposed to an electoral law that would allow Kabila to stay in power.

In March 2015, the ANR also arrested some 40 civil society activists and journalists who had gathered in Kinshasa to announce the launch of the Filimbi citizen platform aimed at encouraging youth participation in the electoral and democratic processes in the DRC.

At a meeting last week between a delegation of Congolese human rights defenders and Security Council members, Dismas Kitenge, Vice-President of FIDH Worldwide Human Rights Movement (FIDH) voiced concerns about the work that had already gone into peacekeeping missions in the DRC.

“The international community has invested more than 15 years of UN presence in the DRC and cannot risk to jeopardize the gains that have been achieved. To prevent a new crisis, MONUSCO should monitor the electoral process and reinforce its presence in the west, especially by deploying UN police units to key western cities, such as Kinshasa and Lubumbashi in order to effectively protect civilians during the elections. The UN Security Council should also insist that the Government provides UN human rights monitors with access to prisons throughout the DRC,” he said.

Rights organizations have also urged the UN Security Council to impose targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for serious human rights violations in the pre-electoral context.

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