The UK remains deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in the DRC and we commend the UN Joint Human Rights Office for its work during this crucial period for the country.
We were appalled by the violence that broke out in Kinshasa on 19 and 20 September as protesters took to the streets to express their frustration at the electoral delay. We urge the Congolese authorities to urgently investigate the deaths and human rights violations that took place, with those responsible facing justice.
More broadly, we strongly condemn the narrowing of political space in the DRC including the intimidation of human rights defenders and opposition leaders such as Presidential candidate Moise Katumbi. We urge the government of the DRC to take urgent steps to create an environment which is conducive to a peaceful and democratic transition of power; and announce a date for timely elections.
Violence and human rights abuses also continue in Eastern DRC, including the horrific slaughter of 47 civilians in Beni in August. It is vital that the government of the DRC and MONUSCO work closely to protect civilians in these remote and challenging areas to ensure that such incidents can never happen again.
We would like to ask the panellists how the Human Rights Council and the international community can best respond to the increasing pattern of violence and human rights violations and specifically what role can the UN Joint Human Rights Office play in ensuring that this Council reacts in the most timely and effective way?