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'Serious violations' by DRC forces

20 March 2012, 17:18

Geneva - Democratic Republic of Congo security forces killed at least 33 people among other "serious human rights violations" during November 2011 elections, the UN rights office said on Tuesday.

Between November 26 and December 25, security forces also wounded at least 83 people, "mostly by bullets, and at least 16 people remain unaccounted for", it said in a report documenting the violations.

Twenty-two of those killed were shot by defense and security forces, but the toll could be much higher, said the UN, noting its investigators were unable to confirm several allegations.

"We have heard multiple accounts of Republican Guards shooting live ammunition into crowds and of the torture of arbitrarily detained individuals," said Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"The authorities must ensure that such grave violations of human rights are investigated, perpetrators brought to justice and that those who remain illegally detained are released without delay," she added.

The vast central Africa country held presidential and legislative elections on November 28 following a campaign marred by violence and claims by opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi of foul play.

Results for the presidential ballot were released in late December and returned Joseph Kabila who has been in power since 2001.

The polls were widely criticised as chaotic and raven with irregularities and Kabila's inauguration was largely snubbed by the international community.

Tags ecowas drc

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