UN hits out at surge in extra-judicial 'executions' in DRC

2018-01-25 10:37
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Kinshasa - The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said on Wednesday there had been a surge in summary "executions" in the country, driven by a crisis in the vast region of Kasai.

In 2017, "state agents" carried out 1 176 extra-judicial killings, "including at least 89 women and 213 children," the United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) said in an annual report on human rights violations in the DRC.

Such killings have tripled in number over the past two years, MONUSCO said, adding that it "deplores the exceptional increase."

The armed forces accounted for nearly two-thirds - 64% - of extra-judicial killings by state agents, it said.

Across the country, a total of 6 497 violations and abuses - committed not just by state agents but also by armed groups - were recorded in 2017.

This was a rise of more 25% compared to 2016, which itself amounted to a 30% rise over 2015.

A sprawling, mineral-rich country in central Africa, the DRC is in the grip of several conflicts, including political and ethnic unrest as well as, in its east, violence by militia groups.

The rise in arbitrary killings last year is mainly explained by the "persistent crisis" in three provinces constituting the Kasai region, where at least 752 people were executed, the report said.

Violence in Kasai erupted after a tribal chieftain known as the Kamwina Nsapu, who rebelled against the regime of President Joseph Kabila, was killed in August 2016.

More than 3 000 people have died and some 1.4 million have been displaced since then.

Two UN experts were killed last March while investigating violence in Kasai, where the United Nations has counted more than 80 mass graves.

Read more on:    un  |  drc  |  central africa

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