UN expert calls for DRC forces pullback

2017-06-24 21:00
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Kinshasa - A special advisor to United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday urged Congolese authorities to pare back their military presence in the restive Kasai region following an explosion of deadly violence in recent months.

More than 3 300 people have been killed in eight months of spiralling unrest in Democratic Republic of Congo's central Kasai, and the UN on Friday said it was sending a team of experts to investigate gross rights violations there.

"It's vital to reduce the militarisation of the government's response and to prioritise dialogue between all parties in the conflict," Adama Dieng, UN special adviser on prevention of genocide told reporters in Kinshasa.

"There is no genocide in the Kasai. There is violence that needs to stop as quickly as possible."

The unrest in Kasai began when a local tribal chieftain who was rebelling against the authority of President Joseph Kabila's government, was killed during clashes with the security forces in August 2016.

The death of this tribal chief, known as the Kamwina Nsapu, sparked a wave of violence which, according to the UN, has forced 1.3 million from their homes.

Dieng called on Congolese investigators to "significantly increase efforts" to find and punish those guilty of rights violations.

Read more on:    un  |  joseph ­kabila  |  antonio guterres  |  drc  |  central africa

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