Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Nigel Farage, Leader of the UK Independence Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Endocrine disruptors: Is the EU doing enough to protect its citizens' health?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israelis taking bomb shelter selfies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Raed Fahmi, former Iraqi Minister of Science and Technology

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's World Cup title

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

  • France commemorates WWI centenary on Bastille Day

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Kremlin mulls 'retaliatory strikes' after death of Russian civilian

    Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • Senegal honours the soldiers who fought for France in WWI

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Shipwrecked Costa Concordia successfully refloated

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

Africa

Human rights watchdog reports on deadly Congo violence

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-02

At least 18 people died in election-related violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said on Friday. The US-based agency said the majority had been shot by Joseph Kabila's presidential guard.

REUTERS - At least 18 people died in violence during the run-up to Democratic Republic of Congo’s elections this week, with most shot dead by soldiers from Joseph Kabila’s presidential guard, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

The organisation’s toll, based on eyewitness accounts and reports from local rights groups, is higher than most earlier accounts of unrest around the country before and during Monday’s presidential and parliamentary vote.

The polls are seen as crucial to stabilising the vast central African country, but have been marred by organisational flaws, alleged fraud and clashes between rival political factions and the security forces.

The worst violence saw 14 people killed last Saturday on the final day of campaigning after authorities cancelled political rallies and used force to clear opposition supporters from the streets of the capital, Kinshasa, HRW said in a statement.

It said a presidential guard convoy opened fire on civilians, killing 12 and injuring dozens more including a pregnant woman. It added that the soldiers may have been retaliating after stones were thrown by opposition supporters.

“Elections don’t give soldiers an excuse to randomly shoot at crowds, The authorities should immediately suspend those responsible for this unnecessary bloodshed and hold them to account,” senior HRW Africa researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg said.

No one from the government was immediately available to comment on the specific HRW allegations on Friday. Security minister Adolphe Lumanu said earlier this week that the presidential guard had not been deployed during the violence in Kinshasa.

“It could have been people camouflaged or wearing presidential guard uniforms, (but) no element of the presidential guards was on the streets,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.

Other incidents across the country included a hammer attack on an opposition politician at his home and the severe beating of an electoral observer after local people accused her of fraud, HRW said.

With preliminary results from the presidential polls due next week, HRW joined the United Nations and others in calling for calm amid rumours and rising tensions, particularly in the largely pro-opposition capital.

“As the announcement of election results nears, it is crucial for all leaders to act responsibly and peacefully, win or lose,” Van Woudenberg said.

Leading opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi has repeatedly said he will not accept defeat, while three other opposition candidates have called for the vote to be annulled, citing widespread fraud by the government.
 

Date created : 2011-12-02

  • DR Congo

    Observers cite 'irregularities' at DRC polls

    Read more

  • DR CONGO

    Observers urge calm during DRC vote count

    Read more

  • DR CONGO

    Counting begins in DR Congo after chaotic election

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)