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EditorialEditorial11 October 20172min0

The United Nations has decided to withdraw the Democratic Republic of Congo from the blacklist of child soldier recruiting countries within their armed forces. The Minister of Defense, Crispin Atama, has not hidden his emotions following the decision taken by the UN.

According to Atama, this good news follows the efforts made by the country through the elements of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in collaboration with UNICEF, to end the recruitment of minors in the army.

Meanwhile, at the Ministry of Defense, a commission has been set up to evaluate the criteria proposed by the United Nations to also help the DRC out of the black list of countries that excel in sexual violence.

This joint commission is composed of the members of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights, FARDC, the Police and other security services.

“The perpetrators of sexual violence must be prosecuted. Instructions have been given so that each Unit Commander now feels responsible in the event of a blundering of the Gender denounced as sexual violence by signing a pledge,” said Crispin Atama.

 

The elements of the Congolese army deserve a reward for the efforts made in the fight against sexual abuse.

“The United Nations has gratified us. We believe that we are cleaned up and are now able to represent the DRC in peacekeeping units around the world,” concluded the Congolese Defense Minister.

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EditorialEditorial11 October 20171min0

Some 50 international and local NGOs oppose the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) candidacy for membership at the UN Human Rights Council. 

These NGOs justify their position by the “multiple violations of Human Rights” of which are responsible the Power in place in Kinshasa and its security forces. According to the Deputy Secretary of FIDH, speaking on an international media, the DRC is not “exemplary in respect of Human Rights”.

“It is the capital of rape and violence against women, of political assassinations, of mass massacres both in the east of the country and in the Kasai, with more or less, within a year, 5000 people mowed, 80 mass graves. And even UN experts have been murdered,” he said.

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EditorialEditorial11 October 20172min0

Cory A. Book; Benjamin I. Cardin; Richard J. Durbin; Christopher A. Coons and 3 other US senators criticized President Donald Trump for his support for the reduction of troops of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) by the Security Council on 28 March, in a context where the pockets of tension multiply in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The decision of the Security Council of March 2017, supported by your Administration, to reduce the number of MONUSCO peacekeepers left the UN mission poorly equipped to ensure security in the east of the DRC and to respond to recent violence in the other parts of the country,” they wrote in their letter to the White House on 3 October.

According to them, “the deployment in low numbers and lack of resources by MONUSCO can lead to loss in human lives.”

During negotiations between members of the Security Council at the end of March, President Donald Trump suggested that the US would reduce US funding to the UN. As a result, the UN mission’s military strength would decrease from 19,815 to 15,000, i.e. 4,815 less. i.e. 4 thousand 815 men less. Finally, resolution 2348, which extended the mandate of Monusco for one year, reduced its strength by only 3,500, also reducing its budget.

A few days before the examination of the same question, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, whom the resolution entrusted with carrying out a strategic study of MONUSCO in order to envisage an adaptation of its forces and a strategy for the exit of this mission, urged the UN member states to be cautious “in case of further budget cuts, as they could compromise its ability to fulfill its core obligations”.

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La RédactionLa Rédaction10 October 20171min0

34 prisoners escaped on Sunday (September 24th) from the Mwenga prison in South Kivu province. According to the Administrator of Mwenga Territory Désiré Masumbuko, quoted by AFP, these detainees, including 27 convicted of rape and others for theft and murder, took advantage of the rain to break through the prison wall.

“Our services have just recovered three escapees. 31 others are still in the wild,” said Masumbuko, adding that in this prison “prison conditions are deplorable” because “of the lack of food and medicines that are no longer provided “by the State.

Several cases of escapes were recorded this year in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first one is that of the Central Prison of Makala, last May 17, with more than 4,000 escaped.

At the beginning of June, nearly 900 prisoners had escaped from the prison of the city of Beni, in North Kivu. On September 3, 119 prisoners had escaped from Kabinda Prison, in Lomami Province.

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EditorialEditorial28 September 20172min0

Sub-machine-gun and heavy weapon fire resumed on Thursday, September 28, 2017 morning in the hills overlooking the city of Uvira in the province of Sud-Kivu.

It is since 4 am that the population of Uvira is hiding in her homes. Armed men arrived by wooden boats and launched an attack at Kabimba, a town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, south of Uvira.

“We heard heavy weapon fire everywhere. We shut ourselves up in houses, we only can hear thunders. The militiamen are right next, in the vicinity of the city. They have not yet entered the city,” said a resident of Uvira.

There is no electricity, shops, schools and other institutions are closed.

Military sources said the shots were aimed at clearing the city’s mountainous peripheries and protecting the city. But afterwards, these shots continued on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, south of the city, towards Kalundu, where the FARDC Naval Forces soldiers clashed with militiamen Mayi-Mayi of Yakutumba.

The Mayi-Mayi militia of William Yakutumba promised to march on Uvira after taking control of Mboko, Sunday, September 24.

“Here, the situation is really alarming. There are shots nearly everywhere. Four enemy ships attacked the town early this morning, but the army managed to destroy two,” said a witness on the spot.

The attackers occupied certain localities from Makobola to Mboko, but the FARDC, which received reinforcements on both sides, moved from Lusenda to Mboko and from Uvira to Mboko.

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EditorialEditorial27 September 20172min0

The annual report of the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday 26 September in Geneva on the situation of human rights in the DRC calls into question the Congolese security forces and the order-givers, i.e. the political authorities who were “guilty of the waves of murderous repression carried out in the country”.

87 mass graves have been identified in the Kasai, demonstrating the action of the Congolese forces with a use judged “disproportionate” which, according to the OHCHR, led to “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world”: 5,000 dead and 1.6 million displaced and refugees in one year. But “Little has been done to carry out credible, impartial and independent investigations on the serious human rights violations committed by the Congolese defense and security forces,” regrets the Council.

The violence in North and South Kivu and Tanganyika in the region are also on the list of indicators that underpin the Council’s argument that the Congolese authorities nurture political instability in DRC.

According to the Council, despite the political agreement signed on 31 December 2016, a systematic repression of political opponents, Human Rights defenders and journalists, and the prolonged detention of political prisoners, the number of whom has tripled. The report notes a “lack of political will”, reflected in the postponement of the electoral calendar.

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EditorialEditorial27 September 20172min0

The Congolese Civil Society of the DRC is already reacting to the report of the Human Rights Council of the UN on the situation of the Human Rights in the DRC for the previous 12 months.

Contacted by KINSHASATIMES.CD, the President of the New Civil Society, Jonas Tshombela, sent the ball back to the Congolese authorities, which he said must

“prove the contrary (of this report). In the light of the developments in recent months throughout our country, there is reason to wonder about the effectiveness of the security services: the Army and the Police in protecting people and their goods as well as their rights and freedoms,” he said.

According to Jonas Tshombela, the refusal of the international investigation into what happened in Kasai is also evidence of “serious problem of Human Rights in the DRC, where the authorities are expected to account for such allegations”.

The slowing down of the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is deliberate, voluntary, given that “it is deadlocked because of the lack of political will to organize elections in this country”. “The calendar is not published, the funds are not mobilized either,” he argues. “The CENI wants to go to electronic voting while the manual vote used in 2006 and 2011 has not yet been mastered and left behind post-electoral disturbances,” said the president of the New Civil Society, Jonas Tshombela.

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EditorialEditorial25 September 20171min0

Steeve Mbuyi, journalist at B-One and Samy Tumba, a freelance photographer, were released on Thursday, September 21, 2017 early in the afternoon, after 24 hours of police custody in a police station in Kinshasa.

The two journalists were arrested the day before while covering a demonstration by the dozens of protesting people in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs against the government’s cancellation of so-called semi biometric passports.

According to information received by JED, all those arrested during the demonstration were released a few hours later, except for the two journalists.

Contacted by JED a few hours earlier this Thursday, September 21, 2017, Colonel Pierrot Mwanamputu, spokesman of the police, had promised to invest to have the two colleagues released.
While taking note of this release, JED calls for an end to these untimely interpellations of journalists whenever they cover public demonstrations

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EditorialEditorial16 September 20172min0

UN Secretary-General Special Representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Maman Sidikou condemned violence perpetrated in Kamanyola. He did so in a communiqué issued by the UN Mission to the DRC (MONUSCO) and seen by KINSHASATIMES.CD.

Maman Sidikou expressed his condolences to bereaved families and condemned all inter-ethnic violence.

“I am deeply shocked with the large number of civilian victims that were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to seek protection and I condemn all kinds of violence between communities” said the Head of MONUSCO.

The press release notes that clashes flared up between asylum-seekers and refugees from Burundi and Congolese defence and security forces reportedly killed at least 36 refugees, one Congolese officer and injured 117 others. Violence erupted when Burundian asylum-seekers and refugees were demonstrating against local authorities to oppose the expulsion of four of them from DRC.

One FARDC (Congolese army) officer was killed in the clash, which led to the escalation of violence. Congolese defence and security forces allegedly responded through indiscriminate firing on the protestors.

Maman Sidikou underscored the obligation of the defence and security forces to use force only as the last resort, in compliance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality, pursuant to the international standards.

The UN diplomat called on the authorities to swiftly open legal actions to establish the truth and do justice to the victims.

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EditorialEditorial14 September 20172min0

At a weekly press conference on Wednesday (13 September 2017) in Kinshasa, Monusco gave its position on the dissenting voices that have been raised in recent weeks on the support of holding a constitutional referendum supported by a fringe of the Presidential Majority, thesis categorically rejected by a fringe of the young people of the Opposition who have already forged a common front against the Referendum.

According to the acting spokesman of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fabienne Pompey, Monusco’s mission as a partner of the DR Congo is to support the implementation “in good faith” and “complete “Of the New Year’s Eve Agreement signed on December 31, 2016 under the aegis of the bishops of the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO).

She insisted on Article 2 of this text adopted by consensus by the entire Congolese political class that, despite the provisions of article five of the constitution in force, is committed not to undertake, much less support any initiative to revise or change Constitution.

“To date, this is the only agreement between Majority and Opposition that is valid, signed by other stakeholders as well. It does not envisage a revision of the Constitution, and therefore a referendum. Reversing this decision taken in a consensual way would be a reversal […] So we remain on the same line, we await the publication of a calendar and the full implementation of this Agreement,” said Fabienne Pompey.

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