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Human Rights Council 36: Human Rights in the DRC

This UK statement was delivered at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council during the Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on OHCHR report on the Democratic Republic of Congo on 27 September 2017.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

We share the High Commissioner’s concerns regarding human rights in The Democratic Republic of Congo. The situation in the Kasais and the continuing unrest in the East are of particular concern, and the broader political situation points to a downward trajectory in the coming months.

The violence and human rights abuses and violations in the Kasais are deeply troubling. It is vital that those responsible are brought to justice. We welcome the international investigation, mandated at HRC35, which will lead to a team of experts being dispatched to the Kasais as soon as possible. The team needs to be able to work independently and to international standards, whilst being allowed unhindered and continuous access.

While the Kasais is of great concern, the conflicts in the East are also alarming. Inter-communal violence in the region continues. Armed militia continue to terrorise the local population. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating. Millions remain at risk.

The cause of much of the tension in the DRC is the failure to organise elections. This has led to a political, security, and socio-economic crisis, with serious repercussions for the protection of human rights in the DRC. We call on DRC’s government to implement the 31 December agreement with all haste, in order to allow elections to take place before the end of 2017.

Published 27 September 2017