29 August 2017

Congo-Kinshasa: Monusco Strongly Condemns the Intrusion of FARDC Troops Into Its Kananga Base

press release

The Special Represtative of the Secretary-Geral in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Maman Sidikou strongly condemns the violation of the premises of the United Nations in Kananga, in Kasai ctral province on 28 August 2017 by soldiers of the Congolese Army.

A group of soldiers, commanded by Geral Marcellin Assumani, Commander of the Congolese Army operations in the Kasai region, forced their way into the MONUSCO office complex while allegedly in pursuit of a local journalist who had tered the premises seeking refuge.

The United Nations (UN) is concerned by this very serious incidt, particularly so as it was carried out under direct orders from a sior officer. UN premises remain inviolable under the Status of Forces Agreemt (SOFA) betwe the United Nations and the Governmt of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the Convtion on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

The United Nations calls on the Governmt of the Democratic of Republic of the Congo to uphold its obligations under the SOFA, and other relevant agreemts.

"We also call on the Governmt of the DRC to hold those involved fully accountable, and to take the necessary measures to prevt a repetition of this deeply regrettable incidt", Mr. Sidikou stated.

Additionally, giv the context in which this regrettable incidt occurred, the Special Represtative would like to seize this opportunity to, once again, reiterate the UN's concern about the shrinking space for journalists to exercise their functions in the country.

"Press freedom is one of the pillars of democracy. The harassmt and threats to which journalists are increasingly subjected are signs of the shrinking freedom of expression, which is not in line with the expected measures to ease political tsions in the DRC", the head of MONUSCO added.


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