Congo security forces killed 48 protesters, says UN report
Congo’s security forces shot, burned, stabbed and beat to death at least 48 people during opposition protests in September against a delay in elections that would keep President Joseph Kabila in power beyond his mandate, a UN human rights report said on Friday.
Two days of violence saw at least 140 people injured, 299 arrested and 53 people killed, the UN report said.
The dead included four police officers, and protesters were responsible for killing at least three of them, the report said. The government did not immediately comment on the report.
Opposition parties had called for the September 19 demonstrations to protest the election delay, calling it an effort by Kabila to hold onto power.
The constitutional court earlier had ruled that Kabila could remain in office beyond his mandate, which ends in December, until elections could be held.
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Congo, Maman Sidikou, urged Congolese authorities to conduct independent, credible investigations and bring perpetrators to justice. “This is particularly crucial in this volatile pre-electoral context,” Sidikou said.