UN concern over DRC vote killings

2011-12-01 16:41

Geneva - The UN rights chief on Thursday condemned the violence that marred Monday's vote in the Democratic Republic of Congo, urging a probe into reports security forces and political supporters killed 10 people.

"Clearly, political differences cannot be resolved through killings, and security forces should not use disproportionate force in the conduct of crowd control," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

"Such violations, as well as violence committed by supporters of political parties, must be investigated and perpetrators brought to justice without delay."

The UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in DRC is investigating reports that more than 10 people were killed and many more wounded by gunfire in Kinshasa since November 26, Pillay said.

President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, is tipped to win a new five-year term after running against 10 candidates in the presidential vote on Monday, when legislative elections were also held.

Preliminary results in the leader race are not expected until December 6, while national assembly results are due January 13.

"Political leaders from all sides have a crucial role to play at this important crossroads in the history of the DRC. It is their responsibility to resolve tensions through peaceful means," Pillay said.

"They must realise that they may be held criminally responsible for their actions as well as for acts committed by their supporters."

The UNJHRO reported earlier that a failure to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms during the election period could have violent results.