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DR Congo: UN envoy expresses concern over arbitrary arrests, urges restraint

The United Nations envoy for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today expressed his concern over arbitrary arrests and detentions across the country, following civil society's call for the holding of elections before year-end and their peaceful protests against delays in the publication of the electoral calendar.

“I am concerned by the restrictions imposed on peaceful assembly and arrests of those who seek to express their political views, as well as by the targeting of journalists and the confiscation of their materials,” said Maman Sidikou, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the country and head of the UN stabilization mission in the country, known by its French acronym, MONUSCO.

On 31 July, the UN documented over 120 arrests or detentions in Kinshasa, Goma, Lubumbashi, Beni, Butembo, Bukavu and Mbandaka.

Among those detained were eight media representatives, including a journalist from radio Okapi and two members of the international press, who were released following the UN Mission's intervention.

Mr. Sidikou called on the national and local authorities to fully uphold fundamental rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution of the country, as well as for all political actors to refrain from any statement or action that could heighten tensions and further polarize the political landscape.