U.N. rights chief raps Congo over protest deaths
- Wall Street opens slightly lower as oil falls
- Boston Scientific (BSX) to Acquire EndoChoice (GI) in ~$210M Deal
- Oil prices slip as hopes for a deal in Algiers fade
- Mexican and Canadian currencies rise, investors feel Clinton won debate
- Pre-Open Stock Movers 09/27: (GI) (KITE) (INFI) Higher; (NAT) (SXL) (RICE) Lower (more...)
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein attends the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council at the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Get inside Wall Street with StreetInsider Premium. Claim your 2-week free trial here.
By Amedee Mwarabu
KINSHASA (Reuters) - The U.N. human rights chief strongly condemned this week's fatal shooting of anti-government protesters in Democratic Republic of Congo and urged the government on Thursday to seek dialogue with the opposition.
Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said the death toll from clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital Kinshasa on Monday had risen to at least 50. The government has said 32 people died.
Congolese authorities have said elections due in November cannot be held until at least next year due to logistical problems. President Joseph Kabila denies opponents' charges of trying to cling to power beyond a two-term limit in the vast central African country, a producer of gold, diamonds and copper.
"The writing is on the wall and the authorities need to pull back from their extremely confrontational position and build bridges with the opposition," Zeid said in a statement.
"Some civilians were killed by gunshots to the head or chest and I strongly condemn the clearly excessive use of force by defense and security forces against demonstrators in the capital," he said in Geneva.
Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende criticized French President Francois Hollande for comments in New York on Tuesday in which he blamed authorities for the deaths and urged them not to delay the election.
"Hollande, with the accent of a schoolteacher, has poured scorn on the Congolese government which he blames for the violence," Mende said, adding that Hollande had ignored attacks by protesters on buildings of pro-government political parties.
Mende played down an incident at the weekend in which
Washington said its Special Envoy to the Great Lakes of Africa, Tom Perriello, was obstructed and harassed at the airport as he was leaving Kinshasa.
Mende said there was no aggression from security officials or from ruling party deputies, who instead engaged in "lively debate" with Perriello.
Congo's attorney general vowed on Wednesday to hunt down and punish those responsible for Monday's riots.
The same day, Kabila's office said security was restored and invited people to return to their daily activities. World powers, especially the United States, have heaped pressure on Kabila to respect the constitution and hold elections on time.
(Additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Mark Trevelyan)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Gaza fishermen feel caught by Israel's tight security net
- India finmin official says monetary policy panel to meet before October 4
- Malaysian ex-deputy PM expects opposition to form new alliance by year-end
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!