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Iran Press TV

DR Congo urged to practice restraint amid violent crackdown

Iran Press TV

Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:43PM

The United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and the International Organization of La Francophonie have urged restraint and calm in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as the government steps up its crackdown on opposition.

The four organizations issued a joint statement on Saturday, appealing to the government and opposition in DR Congo to exercise restraint and put their efforts in containing the violence.

The statement came days after violent clashes erupted in the Congolese capital Kinshasa and other places, with protesters demanding the resignation of President Joseph Kabila. Official reports said over 30 people were killed but the opposition put the toll at much higher.

The four international bodies said they were "gravely concerned by the recent violent events in Kinshasa and elsewhere in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where protesters and security forces clashed, resulting in loss of life."

They called for "all political actors in the DRC, including the presidential majority and the political opposition, to exercise maximum restraint in their actions and statements and to urge their supporters to refrain from violence."

The joint statement also called on the government to facilitate a series of talks which could lead to "credible elections at the earliest possible date." It warned that those disrespecting human rights during the protests "will have to face the consequences."

The opposition in DR Congo says Kabila's failure in calling for elections, which was expected by this year, and the intensifying crackdown on dissent, show that the president seeks to cling to power despite the fact that he is constitutionally barred from running again after 14 years in power.

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