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HRC40: Statement by Nordic Countries on Item 10. Enhanced ID on OHCHR report on the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

19.03.2019 

Human Rights Council 19 March 2019

Item 10: Enhanced ID on OHCHR report on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We commend the Congolese people, who despite hurdles used their right to vote, and the important work by civil society election observers. We also thank the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for an informative report which draws attention to the human rights violations and abuses before, during and after the recent elections. 

The numerous cases of excessive force by the national security forces during the electoral campaign, including killings and arbitrary arrests, are of great concern. We call upon a new government to immediately   implement all recommendations in the report, with an emphasis on the defence and security forces full respect of international human rights- and humanitarian law.

The report contains important lessons on how to organize future elections in a way that safeguards peace, inclusiveness, transparency, accountability and credibility Going forward we emphasize the importance of full and equal participation of women and allowing human rights defenders and media to safely carry out their work.  
 We are deeply disturbed by the report on the violence in Yumbi territory. The events, constituting potential crimes against humanity need to be fully investigated.
 In 2018, the UN documented a sharp increase in the number of victims of conflict-related sexual violence. State agents have been identified as the perpetrators in more than one-fourth of the cases. We expect the new government to do its utmost to rectify this situation, and ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.

Two years have passed since the brutal murders of UN Experts Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp in 2017 in the Kasaï region. We expect the new government to fully cooperate with the UN Follow-on Mechanisms supporting the Congolese investigation for these killings to be fully and thoroughly investigated and all responsible brought to justice.

Thank you president