Rights abuse effects DR Congo’s election says UN

UNJHRO concerns about upcoming presidential election due to rising violations in country

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Policemen detain a protester during clashes in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo November 10, 2015.

The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said on Tuesday that executions and arbitrary detentions are likely to undermine the credibility of upcoming elections.

UNJHRO’s report that documented for the first nine months of 2015, 143 human rights violations and at least 649 people arbitrarily detained that were related with the electoral process.

Alexis Thambwe, the DRC’s Justice Minister, denied allegations that was asserted by the UNJHRO claiming unsubstantiated and aiming at sabotaging the government’s human rights efforts.

Presidential election is planning to hold in November 2016 which is first peaceful transition of power after decades of autocratic rule and deadly civil conflict following independence in 1960.

Opponents are accusing the current President Joseph Kabila of the third term who came to power in 2001 disputed elections and next two term in 2006 and 2011 which the constitution bans to enter the next term.

UNJHRO said that state authorities have repeatedly tried to intimidate critics of Kabila through the excessive use of force, unlawful detentions and the manipulation of the justice system.

"This trend of restricting freedom of expression and violating the security of those taking a critical stance on the government's actions indicates a shrinking of the democratic space likely to compromise the credibility of the electoral process," the report states.

One of the critical point of the report that occurred in January when Africa's leading copper producer was rocked in major cities.

The government presented a proposal that makes a revision of electoral code. Demonstrators denied the proposal claiming it's maneuver to delay the election.

In these protests government agents killed 20 people and more than 400 people have been put into custody beyond the legal time.

UNJHRO says DRC’s intelligence agency (ANR) takes people illegally and doesn't allow to have contact neither with their families nor with a lawyer.

The organisation is afraid of ongoing violation in DRC which the former name was Zaire between 1971–1997.

The country faced two civil wars that first was in 1996 that caused death of 5.4 million people of a foreign invasion by Rwanda that  that replaced dictator Mobutu Sese Seko with the rebel leader Laurent Desire Kabila.

The second civil war began in 1998 and continued five years that ended with an agreement despite a formal end.

TRTWorld and agencies