DRC: Amnesty shines light on Tshisekedi’s first year in office

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Amnesty International is marking the first year anniversary of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi taking office by highlighting a number of ongoing human rights concerns under his rule.

Tshisekedi was named as the DRCs new leader last year in the country’s first peaceful transition of power but rights group Amnesty wants to remind the world of widespread insecurity and impunity that “continue to threaten human rights progress” in the country.

Continued human rights issues in the DRC

Amnesty points to recent instances where peaceful protests have been banned or violently dispersed in the DRC. It cites an incident on 17 January where meetings called by opposition leader Martin Fayulu were banned in six cities, and violently dispersed in Kinshasa and Kindu, injuring five people.

It also mentions a separate incident in November 2019 where at least 10 protesters were shot dead by Congolese and UN security officers in Beni.

The rights group then goes on to explain how offenders continue to enjoy impunity in the country, condemning a statement made by President Tshisekedi in September 2019 that he had “no time to rummage into the past”.

“Although President Tshisekedi has taken some positive steps, such as pardoning political prisoners and allowing exiled critics to return, his government’s failures on accountability mean warlords and suspected perpetrators of appalling violations and abuses remain at large,” Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern and Southern Africa said.

“Meanwhile brutal crackdown on peaceful protests has continued to cast doubt on respect for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the DRC.”

Featured image: Kremlin.ru

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.