Saturday, May 28, 2016

In DRC, Protesters Shot in Goma, Inner City Press Asks and UN Replies That It Works With Police in Kinshasa

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 27 -- On the Democratic Republic of the Congo Inner City Press on May 5 and May 6 asked the spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about threats against opposition candidates Moise Katumbi. The spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said the UN Peacekeeping mission controlled by USG Herve Ladsous has no mandate to protect candidates. Vine here.

On May 27, after protesters were shot in Goma, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video hereUN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: This is about the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  You put out a statement… in the protest yesterday, at least in Goma, the authorities used live fire and teargas.  A protester was killed.  Many were injured.  I’m wondering if you could just describe rather than just a reaction to it, what did MONUSCO [UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] do during… pursuant to its protection of civilians mandate during the protest?

Deputy Spokesman:  Okay.  Well, yesterday the Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO, reported the demonstrations took place in a number of cities with reports related to a tense situation in certain neighbourhoods of Goma, North Kivu.  In line with its mandate, MONUSCO did mobilize to assist.  In Kinshasa, for example, UN police units have worked closely with the Police Nationale Congolaise to advise and support them.  MINUSCA will continue to closely monitor the situation across the country. [Minusca?]

As you’re aware, the Secretary-General issued a statement on this and has stressed the need for all to act in strict respect of the fundamental freedoms and rights enshrined in the Constitution, and he made clear that all parties must exercise restraint and express their views peacefully and that political actors must engage in a constructive and peaceful political dialogue.

On May 16, after people peacefully protesting against the UN's failure to protect civilians in Goma were arrested, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq.