UN warns DRC election threatened by human rights violations

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The United Nations says the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) upcoming presidential election could be threatened by ongoing human rights violations in the country.

the UN Human Rights Council held a special session in Geneva on the situation in the DRC where it expressed concerns that the credibility of December’s election could be undermined by the continued violation of people’s freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

UN: Rights violations threaten election

With only three months left until the DRC takes to the polls for a crucial election, the UN says it has recorded a 35 per cent increase in human rights violations since June 2017. As the country gears up to vote on who will take the DRC into the next chapter of its democratic story, opposition groups and supporters are being targeted by police and security officials, the UN says.

The DRC is yet to have a peaceful transition of power and public support for the country’s ruling party is up for question. However, rival political parties and their supporters are being targeted ahead of December’s election and prevented from holding peaceful meetings.

According to the UN’s Georgette Gagnon, opposition leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and activists are also being threatened and intimidated by security forces who operate with impunity.

Gagnon warns the human rights situation in the DRC is likely to worsen as the election draws closer and she’s calling on the government to put a stop to such violations.

Featured image: By MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32468846

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.