Wednesday, November 09, 2011

UN: Repression ahead of this month’s presidential vote in Congo could lead to more violenc

Repression by Congo’s government ahead of this month’s critical presidential election could lead to even more violence in the Central African nation struggling after decades of dictatorship and civil war, the United Nations warned Wednesday.

The report from the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Geneva said people have been beaten and arrested just for wearing opposition party T-shirts. One man has been jailed since March for selling a newspaper that questioned President Joseph Kabila’s nationality. There is a continued repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the pre-electoral period that may increase the likelihood of individuals and political parties resorting to violent means, endanger the democratic process and lead to post-electoral violence.

The Nov. 28 presidential vote will be only the country’s second democratic election in a half century. The first one in 2006 was largely organized and secured by the massive U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo. There are signs of growing tensions with the vote still weeks away. Several people already have been killed and injured. Over the weekend, 16 were wounded in the southeast mining center of Lubumbashi during fighting between supporters of two rival opposition candidates.

Corruption in governments has caused many of these wars that occurs during election season. Working with my asylum case, it has shocked and disturbed me the amount of killings that occur during election season. This occurring in many different areas of the world because of corruption in governments that is greedy for votes. This must come to an end where parties should be held accountable for their actions and manipulating people to wage war to fight for territories and votes.

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