(MENAFN- African Press Organization)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk today called for urgent de-escalation of tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where more than a dozen civilians have been killed, at least 40 injured and more than 90,000 displaced in days of renewed fighting between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and the 23 March Movement (M23) armed group.
“The security situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is deteriorating rapidly and threatening a human rights disaster,” said the top UN human rights official.“I call for urgent de-escalation of tensions and for all parties to unequivocally choose peace by embracing dialogue. More fighting will only yield more pain and suffering for more people.
“I urge all sides to protect civilians in line with international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including by allowing and facilitating unfettered humanitarian access to all in need, and safe exit for civilians out of areas affected by hostilities.”
The High Commissioner also expressed concern about a resurgence in hate speech targeting people based on their ethnicity, as well as a rise in misinformation, disinformation and negative rhetoric against the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
“The authorities must take all necessary measures to address hate speech no matter to whom it is directed, and to protect journalists and other media workers, some of whom have reported being threatened and harassed since the new round of hostilities began, in a bid to influence their reporting,” Türk said.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
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