The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand):
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concerns about the violent clashes between protestors and security forces that took place in Kinshasa and several other locations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 19 and 20 September. They strongly condemned the violence, which has already led to the death of at least 32 people, including four police officers in the capital. They expressed their regrets for the loss of lives and requested that those responsible be held accountable.
They called upon all political parties, their supporters, and other political actors to refrain from further violence or other provocations and to address their differences peacefully. They urged all parties to remain calm and called on the Congolese authorities to exercise maximum restraint in their response to protests. They further called on the authorities to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially the right of peaceful assembly. They also called on all concerned political leaders and their supporters to desist from undertaking any further acts that could continue to exacerbate the situation and heighten tensions. They called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to hold accountable those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights.
Recalling Security Council resolution 2277 (2016), the members of the Security Council stressed the crucial importance of peaceful, credible, inclusive, transparent and timely presidential elections, in accordance with the Constitution, for the stability, development, and consolidation of constitutional democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They reiterated their call upon all stakeholders to engage into an open, inclusive and peaceful political dialogue over the holding of presidential elections, in accordance with the Constitution, and expressed their support for the efforts of the African Union as facilitator of the dialogue. They urged all political parties to show responsibility by committing to the conclusion of the dialogue and called upon all involved to ensure inclusivity of the process.
The members of the Security Council expressed their determination to continue to closely follow the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular the security conditions on the ground and the efforts to successfully conclude the electoral process.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.