Kinshasa, 29 August 2017- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Maman Sidikou strongly condemns the violation of the premises of the United Nations in Kananga, in Kasai central province on 28 August 2017 by soldiers of the Congolese Army.
A group of soldiers, commanded by General 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 entered the premises seeking refuge.
The United Nations (UN) is concerned by this very serious incident, particularly so as it was carried out under direct orders from a senior officer. UN premises remain inviolable under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United Nations and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
The United Nations calls on the Government of the Democratic of Republic of the Congo to uphold its obligations under the SOFA, and other relevant agreements.
“We also call on the Government of the DRC to hold those involved fully accountable, and to take the necessary measures to prevent a repetition of this deeply regrettable incident”, Mr. Sidikou stated.
Additionally, given the context in which this regrettable incident occurred, the Special Representative 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 harassment 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 tensions in the DRC", the head of MONUSCO added.
Charles Bambara, Directeur de l’Information publique :firstname.lastname@example.org : tél. +243 81 890 5202 ; mobile : +243 997 06 88 76
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Lt-Col Serge Haag, porte-parole militaire : email@example.com: tél. +243 890 31 78 ; mobile : +243 81 890 71 60
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