Political polarization in DR Congo may spark ‘large-scale violence,’ UN envoy warns Security Council
FULL ARTICLE. Warning of an extremely fragile political situation in DR Congo, Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MONUSCO, has called on the Security Council to urge the parties to return to dialogue, guarantee the right to peaceful opposition and to end impunity for violence. Briefing the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation, Mr. Sidikou expressed deep concerns about the impasse in the electoral process, rising political tensions and related violence in the country, and underlined the primary responsibility of the Government and all stakeholders “to preserve the hard-won gains made in recent years.”
Also, in regard to the situation in the country’s troubled east, he reported that a precarious situation was created when more than 1,000 ex-combatants were returned to communities in the region as part of the demobilization and reintegration process, but before the Government and World Bank partners had adequately prepared the communities for their return, raising the possibilities of tensions and their return to armed groups. Noting MONUSCO community violence-reduction programmes, Mr. Sidikou called for all partners to quickly put in place the necessary community reintegration measures to allow further returns to occur in a constructive manner.