GOMA – The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) says it has documented 3,316 cases of human rights violations throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo since the beginning of the year, figures in the report released on Wednesday July 18 2018 show.
Most of these abuses are related to political violence triggered by President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to leave power in 2016 when his constitutional term ended.
Kabila is set to address the nation today (Thursday) where he is expected to make announcement on whether he will run again in the presidential election scheduled for December 23 or step down.
His supporters are urging him to run again and posters published in the capital Kinshasa show Kabila as a candidate.
The UN body spoke of increase in human rights abuses compared to the number listed in the same period last year.
In its report, the UNJHRO cited state agents as the main perpetrators of human rights violations that have been committed since January until June 2018.
“More than 64 per cent of documented violations during the first half of 2018 were committed by state agents, who were responsible for the extrajudicial killings of at least 202 people, including 24 women and two children, on the whole,” UN said.
Among the state’s agents, the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) committed the highest number of violations and are responsible for nearly one-third of documented violations by the UNJHRO.
The UNJHRO also documented extrajudicial executions of 145 persons, including at least 16 women and six children) during this semester.
This is a sharp increase compared to the first half of 2017 (663 violations). Police officers committed 779 violations, including extrajudicial executions of 43 people, including at least seven women.
The UNJHRO also accuses armed groups and militia of having committed nearly 36 per cent of documented violations and has been responsible for the summary execution of at least 393 people, including 67 women.
Congo, Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of cobalt, is plagued by dozens of armed militias that attack locals and exploit minerals.