Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been hit for several weeks by an intensification of almost daily systematic attacks against the civilian population. Since the beginning of the year, nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 200,000 people have fled the atrocities.
“These barbaric acts must stop. It is up to the Congolese authorities and the UN Mission for Stabilization in the DRC (MONUSCO) to put an end to the actions of the CODECO armed militia and to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice. No feeling of impunity can prevail. It is also essential to give priority to dialogue and to fight against any instrumentalization of identity.
“What is happening in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo cannot become a forgotten crisis; and efforts to end insecurity in this region must be accelerated. The European Union stands ready to support the efforts of the Congolese authorities in this direction, in coordination with its partners.
“Finally, the European Union does not exclude taking adequate measures with regard to individuals, groups or organizations which contribute by their actions to undermining the preservation of peace or to serious human rights violations”.
An American citizen who was kidnapped with her driver at Uganda’s most popular wildlife park by gunmen had failed to take an armed ranger as required by the park’s regulations, a spokesperson for the wildlife authority said.
Four armed men in Uganda‘s Queen Elizabeth National Park. according to CNN have used the victim’s phone to demand $500,000 ransom.
“We strongly believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap,” a police officer said to CNN TV channel. They were ambushed and kidnapped near Katoke Gate between 5 pm and 7 pm on April, 2. “Other four tourists who were left abandoned and unharmed later contacted the base (lodge) and were quickly got safely out of any danger,” a press release said.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is Uganda’s most visited wildlife attraction.
Kimberley Sue Endecott (35), and Ugandan driver Jean Paul were on a game drive in the Park when four gunmen ambushed their vehicle in evening hours, police said. However, an elderly couple also at the scene were not taken and raised the alarm.
Militant groups as Somali Islamists or Congolese-based rebels operate in Uganda, but none of the group claimed responsibility for the armed incident. At present the regular crime is regarded as a privileged version of the assault.
There is ongoing police operation, however for the evident reasons, the details are not revealed.
The violence perpetrated on 31 December 2017 at New Year’s Eve in the Democratic Republic of Congo, resulted in deaths of a several demonstrators and left many wounded. Security forces killed at least seven people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during protests against President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down from office, United Nations peacekeepers said.
“The use of violence by the Congolese authorities, including the interruption of religious services, aimed at suppressing any attempt at peaceful protest is contrary to the Congolese Constitution, which guarantees the right of demonstration and freedom of assembly” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
“Blocking media and social networks is also a serious violation of freedom of expression” – the EEAS statement continues.
“The EU extends its condolences to the families of the victims. It supports the call by MONUSCO / UNJHRO to condemn arbitrary arrests and calls for the immediate release of detainees, including some religious.”
“The Congolese authorities have a duty to protect their citizens and not to repress them. They must redouble their efforts to fully implement the relaxation of the New Year’s Eve Agreement, thus making progress towards credible elections in 2018. The EU will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Federica Mogherini, Haute représentante de l’Union européenne pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et Vice-présidente de la Commission européenne, a rencontré cet après-midi Léonard She Okitundu, Vice-premier ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères de la République Démocratique du Congo, afin de discuter de la situation dans le pays et des relations avec l’UE.
Au cours de la discussion, la Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente a tenu à exprimer l’importance attachée au partenariat entre l’UE et la RDC. Elle a insisté sur le fait que la tenue d’élections transparentes et démocratiques dans les plus brefs délais représente le moyen de sortir d’une impasse politique aux graves retombées sécuritaires, économiques et humanitaires. Mme Mogherini a rappelé également l’ouverture de l’UE à discuter des options pour appuyer le processus électoral, à partir de la définition du calendrier électoral.
Mme Mogherini a souligné la nécessité pour la RDC de coopérer pleinement avec les experts des Nations Unies pour enquêter sur les violations graves des droits de l’homme dans le Kasai.
Elle a enfin confirmé que l’UE continuera à apporter un soutien concret aux besoins des populations.