The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today voiced deep concern over reports that one person was shot dead and three others wounded during a demonstration in the south-central province of Kasai Oriental to mark the beginning of campaigning for next month’s general elections.
Members of Parti Travailliste (Labour Party) were marching in the provincial capital, Mbuji-Mayi, when the shooting happened, according to a press statement from the office of Roger Meece, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO).
“MONUSCO stresses that the freedom of assembly and expression, as well as political debate, are important and must be protected during campaigning,” the statement said, adding that the credibility of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 28 November is at stake.
Mr. Meece called for civility during the campaigning and reminded everyone of their responsibility to ensure that the elections are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.
He urged the Government to immediately open an investigation to determine the circumstances under which the violence occurred and ensure that those responsible were made to account for their actions.
He also extended his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and wished those wounded speedy recovery.