Under pressure DRC govt vows to stem violence

2017-02-20 20:44
DRC flag. (iStock)

DRC flag. (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - The Democratic Republic of Congo's government, under pressure to act after months of violence in the south, on Sunday vowed to move away from a solely military solution.

Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari told reporters: "The state is envisaging political, traditional and humanitarian solutions on the ground."

But he added Kinshasa's response could be "military if arms are not laid down in a peaceful fashion to enable a lasting peace" in restless areas.

Shadari did not give further details as he sought to tackle a crisis stemming from last year's killing of a tribal chief in the southern Kasai-Central region.

Tension was fanned by Saturday's emergence of a seven-minute video purporting to show soldiers shooting unarmed 50 to 100 civilians to death.

The apparent massacre in the village of Mwanza Lomba brought a confused government response to the clashes between troops and supporters of Kamwina Nsapu, killed by government forces in mid-August.

Although government spokesperson Lambert Mende condemned the video as a "ridiculous fake... worthy of scenes from a Rambo movie," a later statement noted possible "excesses and abuse" by soldiers, two of whom Kinshasa said were already on trial for unspecified charges.

The region where the clashes occurred has been beset by violence since Nsapu's death.

Even before outrage over the video politicians were urging the government to calm the situation.

"It is up to the authorities at all levels, provincial and national, to find a solution," Ibrahim Ikulu, a lawmaker from the ruling majority bloc, told AFP as politicians decried the upsurge in unrest.

"The solution to this problem is political, not military," said opposition lawmaker Corneille Masuasua, who criticised how the military appeared to have taken matters into its own hands.

"It's very dangerous to depend on the military," Masuasua added.

Opposition lawmaker Claudel Lubaya insisted on Sunday that "the government is responsible for this mindless violence."

Lubaya said Kinshasa had made "an error of judgement in killing Kamwina Nsapu, causing the region to boil over."

Alluding to the video, Lubaya said he held the government "fully responsible for these acts of barbarism" against people "whose only crime was to reject the ruling regime."

Nsapu had personified widespread popular resentment in the troubled region against central government and provincial authorities, whom they blamed for appointing pro-regime officials to powerful local posts in place of traditional figureheads.

A further source of resentment was the summary burial of Nsapu without respecting customs in a region where locals regard him as still living.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.