DRC poll violence victims demand justice

DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) FAMILIES that suffered human rights violations in the run-up to elections the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held at the end of 2018 feel let down by the justice system.

At least 320 people were allegedly killed during the pre-election protests.

Their families allege President Felix Tshisekedi has reneged on his inauguration pledges to strengthen the rule of law, fight impunity and ensure justice.

Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, said Tshisekedi and his government must acknowledge the pain that victims and their families had been enduring and publicly commit to promptly and effectively prosecute those responsible.

Supporters of the former president, Joseph Kabila, are blamed for the violations.

Muchena said the demands of victims and their families for accountability for human rights violations could not be wished away as inconveniences.

“President Felix Tshisekedi must acknowledge their suffering and break with past impunity to ensure justice is served,” Muchena said.

The president has been quoted as saying he would not “poke into the past.”

While in power, during the protests, Kabila constituted three committees to investigate the deadly crackdowns on protesters.

None of the commissions have resulted in any prosecutions.

Tshisekedi was sworn in on January 2019 after winning elections held in December 2018, after a two-year delay.

– CAJ News

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