(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
GENEVA/KINSHASA - Democratic Republic of Congo must investigate credible reports of atrocities including summary executions by the armed forces, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said on Monday.
The UN human rights office has documented the killings of more than 280 people since July 2016 in a flare-up in violence in Kasai Central province, where Congolese forces have been battling an uprising by the Kamuina Nsapu militia.
"There are multiple, credible allegations of massive human rights violations in Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental and Lomami provinces, amid a sharp deterioration in security situation there, including people being targeted by soldiers for their alleged affiliation with a local militia,” Zeid said in a statement.
"It is time to stop a blunt military response that does nothing to tackle the root causes of the conflict between the government and local militias but instead targets civilians on the basis of their presumed links to the militias," he said.
The UN statement followed the emergence of a video at the weekend that appeared to show Congolese troops shooting dead members of the militia in the province.