The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including in Kinshasa and other cities following the adoption of a draft electoral law by the National Assembly, currently under further review in the Senate.
He deplores the loss of lives and injuries caused so far, and calls on the national security forces and demonstrators to refrain from further violence and exercise maximum restraint.
The Secretary-General underscores the Government's responsibility to provide political space for the peaceful expression of opinions. Demonstrations should be conducted in a peaceful manner. While violence is not acceptable, the response to violent protests must also be proportionate.
The Secretary-General calls on all key stakeholders to resume political dialogue and ensure that elections-related matters are discussed in an inclusive and peaceful fashion in the appropriate fora.
The Secretary-General reaffirms the readiness of his Special Representative to use his good offices to help narrow the gap between the main actors involved.
The Secretary-General reiterates the need for a credible, peaceful, and timely electoral process, in accordance with the Constitution