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Ambassadors’ meetings with political representatives and civil society in DRC

Ambassadors’ issue joint statement following meetings with DRC political representatives and civil society.

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Over the last few days, representatives of the international community met with leaders of all political tendencies and civil society to deliver a set of common messages, following the events of 19 and 20 September 2016. These meetings were organized as friends and partners of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the hope of avoiding further violence as those that took place in Kinshasa last week. Following are the messages delivered:

” We condemn all violence from whatever source and deplore the loss of life and property over the last few days. It is clear that the State has a particular responsibility for the protection of its citizens and the duty to avoid use of excessive force where non-lethal methods are sufficient. There must be no impunity for those responsible for the violent acts committed on September 19 and 20.

” Freedom of peaceful expression is a universal right, but all demonstrations must be well managed by the organisers to avoid undue disturbances and respected by the security forces who are equally responsible for avoiding all violations.

” We reiterate our concern for the Congolese population that has already suffered too much and continues to endure increasingly difficult conditions given the current economic situation.

” We believe that it is now time, before any further Congolese blood is shed, that the political leaders of all tendencies assume their responsibilities to achieve a consensual agreement that will allow for the holding of credible and peaceful elections in the earliest timeframe possible that respects the foundational texts of the country and the will of the Congolese population.

” Meanwhile, we ask that all parties do their utmost to avoid further provocation and work together to create the necessary climate for the resolution of the political impasse.”

Published 28 September 2016