UN Human Rights office said that it is concerned with the killing of at least 43 including a policeman, and 56 injured during demonstrations on Wednesday in Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We have received information indicating that the death toll may be higher,” said the UN Human Rights office in a statement.
According to the Rights office, the demonstrations were organised against the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), the Regional Force of the East African Community, other UN agencies and international non-governmental organisations.
“We note the Government’s announcement that an investigation has been opened into this incident and call for it to be thorough, effective, and impartial. Such an investigation must also comprehensively examine the use force by the security forces. Those responsible for violations must be held to account, regardless of their affiliation,” a statement read from the UN Human Rights office
According to Kinshasa. at least 222 people were reportedly arrested, including women and children.
“We are concerned that the risk of human rights violations in such a charged context is high. It is crucial that the rights of those arrested are fully respected, including their due process rights; and for relevant authorities to ensure continued access to detained individuals by the UN Joint Human Rights Office.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called on the authorities to ensure that future law enforcement actions in the context of the policing of public assemblies fully adhere to international human rights norms and standards.
The incident comes at a time when MONUSCO is expected to leave DRC after the expiration of their mandate.