UN Human Rights Council 49: UK Statement for Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Democratic Republic of Congo

The UK thanks the High Commissioner and the team of independent experts for this update.

We welcome President Tshisekedi’s continued commitment to strengthening democracy and fighting insecurity; However, we remain deeply concerned about the current human rights situation and the continued reports of human rights violations and abuses, including acts of sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions and extrajudicial executions. We are particularly concerned about the significant risk to civilians posed by the ongoing activities of armed groups in eastern DRC, including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and CODECO, which threaten the security and livelihoods of people living in these areas. They must be held accountable.

We strongly encourage the DRC to redouble its efforts to improve the human rights situation. There must be a clear and time-bound exit strategy from the state of siege, better coordination with partners to protect civilians, and a commitment to protect political space while building institutional support and accountability in matters of human rights.

We will continue to support the President’s emphasis on stability and efforts to build lasting peace, and call on his government to do so with full respect for the rights and freedoms of all Congolese, especially over the next election period.

High Commissioner,

How can the international community help ensure the protection of civilians in Ituri and North Kivu, in the face of rising violence and instability in these regions?

Thank you.