DR Congo government denies killing charges by human rights watch

16:50, April 24, 2010      

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The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has rejected accusations by a human rights watch that its army was responsible for killing civilians in fighting rebels early in the month in the northwestern city of Mbandaka.

The African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO) recently reported that DR Congo's Armed Forces (FARDC) and the rival Enyele militia were "responsible for the summary executions" of 49 civilians, the Congolese press reported on Friday.

Communication Minister Lambert Mende Omalanga dismissed the charges as "malicious" propaganda.

"The ASADHO report was drafted on the basis of a statement which was written from far away and they never took any minimal time to verify its authenticity, the credibility of the correspondent or even his intentions," he pointed out.

The minister also denied the allegations that there were confrontations between the FARDC and the Enyele insurgents around Wengji Secli, 24 km from Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province.

Enyele insurgents who are now calling themselves "Nzombo ya Lombo" (village bandits) have fought with the Congolese national police and the FARDC since October 2009 in different localities of Equateur province.

On April 4, the insurgents launched an attack on Mbandaka and briefly occupied the city's airport before driven out by FARDC with the support of the UN mission in DR Congo.

Source: Xinhua


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