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Interactive Dialogue on the Report on the Democratic Republic of the Congo
September 27, 2017

U.S. Statement as delivered by Jason Mack
Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 27, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States expresses its appreciation for the OHCHR’s report.

The United States remains concerned by continued delays in holding already overdue elections and the lack of progress towards implementing the December 31 political agreement in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The political impasse resulting from the Government’s continued electoral delays is increasing tensions and serves as a trigger for additional unrest, violence, and violations and abuses of human rights.

We urge the DRC government to take concrete steps on electoral planning and, most notably, that the independent electoral commission, the CENI, promptly release a realistic electoral calendar, to ensure credible, inclusive elections, and that a peaceful, democratic transfer of power occurs without further delay.  Additionally, the Government of the DRC must do more to create an environment in which civil society and political opposition groups can operate without harassment.

The armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo must refrain from using disproportionate and excessive force against civilians, including refugees.  We condemn the reported use of detention, torture, enforced disappearances, and the extrajudicial killing of civilians by police and security forces.  We urge the DRC government to hold accountable all those responsible for such human rights violations and abuses.

The United States also remains gravely concerned by the alarming security and humanitarian situation in the Kasais including its disproportionate effect on children.  We continue to call on all groups to end violent attacks and sexual and gender-based violence and urge the government to respect human rights and exercise restraint in its efforts to restore order.  We call for full accountability for those responsible for atrocities.

We would like to know what steps the DRC Government could take to strengthen its cooperation with the OHCHR and the international teams mandated by the HRC?

Thank you.