The United Nations Security Council said it is closely monitoring political developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and remains concerned about escalating violence and instability ahead of the December 19 election deadline.
“The Security Council reiterates its call upon all political parties, their supporters and other political actors to exercise maximum restraint in their actions and statements, to refrain from violence, violent speeches or other provocations and to address their differences peacefully,” the statement said.
The statement comes as weekend clashes claimed nearly three dozen lives in Tshikapa, the AFP reported. The tribal fighting, in a relatively remote region of DR Congo, was the latest episode of escalating violence that’s more often related to President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to hold elections, as well as ongoing militia battles in other parts of the country.
Diplomats and human rights activists have warned the international community must act on DR Congo amid the violence and human rights concerns, exacerbated by both the political and economic situation.
The UNSC also encourages the Kabila government to continue working toward “a swift political solution” in talks with Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO), the influential Catholic Church leaders who have sought to mediate a dialogue between Kabila and his supporters, and his political opponents.
The CENCO delegation, led by Archbishop Marcel Utembi, met with Kabila on Monday in Kinshasa. They remain hopeful that a compromise will be reached, despite negotiation setbacks in recent days, the DR Congo government said.
Maman Sambo Sidikou of Niger, head of the UN’s MONUSCO mission in the country, told UNSC that he hopes CENCO will be able to broker a deal that will prevent violence on December 19 and in the immediate period afterwards.
Image: Government of DR Congo