Congo-Kinshasa: Outcry Over Election to UN Rights Council

Photo: Radio Okapi/Ph. John Bompengo
Police in Kinshasa (file photo).

Kinshasa — HUMAN rights advocates are outraged at the election of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The crisis-torn country has been elected along with 15 other countries. Ironically, it is infamous for human rights violations and is gripped by conflict after President Joseph Kabila maintained his stranglehold on power at the expiry of his term late last year. Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the UN, rebuked the election of DRC amid its controversial history with human rights violations including the murdering of women and children by the army and rebels. "Countries that aggressively violate human rights at home should not be in a position to guard the human rights of others," Haley said. Louis Charbonneau, the Human Rights Watch UN Director, said DRC was fast becoming a pariah state. "If there had been competition, DRC probably would have lost," Charbonneau said.

DRC was elected by receiving the majority number of votes necessary for election. It received the least amount of votes(150) among the African countries that were in the running. The total amount of votes necessary to be elected to the council is 97. Only four African states were running for seats, the total allotment for the region. Violence in eastern and central DRC has displaced some 4 million people. Conflict has resulted in millions of deaths and created conditions in which dozens of armed groups emerged over the decades. Among those killed are two UN human rights researchers murdered in March. - CAJ News

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