On Tuesday in Geneva, the director of the field operations division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern about the "proliferation of hate speech and messages inciting violence, discrimination and hostility" in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“I remain concerned about the proliferation of hate speech and messages inciting violence, discrimination and hostility, particularly in relation to political competition, the armed conflict in the east and inter-communal conflicts in the rest of the country,” said Christian Salazar Volkmann, director of the field operations division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) before the Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
One year before the next presidential elections, the UN considers it important that the “security situation” does not deteriorate.
According to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), these “hate speeches and incitement to violence” are significant obstacles to “social cohesion” in the country.
The head of MONUSCO, Bintou Keita, who is also the special representative of the Secretary General for the DRC, also believes that such speeches risk “precipitating certain regions of the country towards generalized violence”.
The country's security situation is indeed worrying, particularly in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. We reported to you just yesterday, an attack attributed to the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) rebels which left at least ten civilians dead, including a pastor, and around twenty missing in the province of North Kivu on Tuesday evening.
The UN regrets that "the measures taken to apply the state of siege, which entered into force on May 6, 2021 in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, do not seem to have deterred armed groups from attacking civilians. , particularly in IDP sites”.
Determined to fight against this scourge, the UN Mission has launched a "working group on the prevention and response to hate speech" while the OHCHR calls on Kinshasa "to take the necessary measures without delay to counter this phenomenon".
As a reminder, the DRC is ranked 40th in theGlobal Index of Persecution of Christians 2022 of the NGO Portes Ouvertes. The organization indicates that if the country "is overwhelmingly" Christian, "armed Islamist groups violently persecute Christians in the Northeast and threaten freedom of worship".
“The situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is very complex. Many armed groups oppose each other, including some with an expansionist Islamic agenda. The persistent violence against Christians has caused a strong displacement of the population and arouses great concern”, continues the organization for the defense of persecuted Christians.
Camille Westphal Perrier