UN chief urges DRC to lift ban on demonstrations

2018-05-08 11:17
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. (File: AP)

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. (File: AP)

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

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged the Democratic Republic of Congo's government to lift a ban on demonstrations that threatens to scupper chances for credible elections.

The December 23 elections in the vast resource-rich country are to pave the way to a historic transfer of power that would end President Joseph Kabila's rule.

Guterres told the Security Council in a report that "persistent divergences" over the vote and "the lack of political space remain a threat to the holding of credible and inclusive elections."

"Lifting the ban on public demonstrations would greatly contribute to the opening of political space" and allow the Congolese to "freely exercise their political and civil rights," said the report sent to the council this month.

The government has authorised some opposition protests in recent weeks but security forces cracked down on demonstrators in late March and early April in the second city of Lubumbashi and in other areas of the country.

The ban was imposed in September 2016 when anti-Kabila protests turned violent.

While repression against the opposition has decreased, restrictions targeting the opposition remain in place, with at least 86 political prisoners still in detention.

The Security Council is expected to discuss the report on preparations for the elections in the coming weeks.

Kabila, in power since 2001, has not clearly stated whether he will step aside.

In April, the council tasked its peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo with helping to prepare the polls and protect civilians as fears are running high of election violence.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    un  |  antonio guterres  |  drc  |  central africa  |  drc 2018 elections

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
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.