Respect December 2016 agreement: UN chief tells DR Congo leaders

United Nations chief António Guterres has urged the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to exercise restraint, following the reports of a crackdown on anti-government protests in the country.

The security forces actions have led to the death of at least five people, the wounding of several others and the arrest of over 120 persons.

“The Secretary-General calls on the Government and national security forces to exercise restraint and to uphold the rights of the Congolese people to the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly,” a statement from the UN said.

He told all politicians in the country to remain fully committed to the 31 December 2016 political agreement, which set a December 2017 timeframe for election to the post of the president.

But the election commission extended the date for over a year, which has angered the opposition politicians.

He said that the agreement “remains the only viable path to the holding of elections, the peaceful transfer of power and the consolidation of stability in the DRC.”

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