The United Nations today called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to take immediate action in light of alarming reports of disappearance and assassination of children and youth that coincide with a Government operation to tackle delinquency in Kinshasa.
"According to information received, which is currently being verified, at least 20 people, including 12 children, have been reportedly killed," stated a news release issued by the UN Children's Fund, and the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO).
The two organizations said the "alarming" reports of disappearance and assassination of young men and children coincide with the start of 'Operation Likofi' (Punch) which Congolese authorities began a week ago to curb urban delinquency in the capital.
"UNICEF and MONUSCO call for immediate steps to be taken by Congolese authorities to put an end to such acts," they stated.
They recalled that the State must in all circumstances ensure that human rights are protected and that children receive special protection, in line with Congolese laws and international treaties and conventions.
"Investigations must be undertaken by judicial authorities so as those responsible for these acts are brought to justice, in accordance with the Congolese Criminal Code," they stated.
"The United Nations reiterates its willingness to support the Congolese Government in its search for durable solutions to problems regarding the social reintegration of children and youths."