World Bulletin / News Desk
DR Congo's minister for human rights on Tuesday called for the prosecution of police who opened fire on anti-government protestors at the weekend, in a crackdown condemned by the EU and UN.
"Those responsible for these acts must be punished and prosecuted by Congolese justice," Human Rights Minister Marie-Ange Mushobekwa said in an interview with the French station Radio France Internationale (RFI) while on a visit to Paris.
Mushobekwa, asked about the particular case of a young girl gunned down at the entrance to a church in Kinshasa's Kintambo district, said: "I have no explanation. I don't understand why the security forces decided to open fire. Those behind these acts will not remain unpunished."
She also hit out at abuse of UN observers by the security forces, as reported by the United Nations.
"The government cannot tolerate aggression against UN personnel, who are there to support us."
In Brussels, the European Union on Tuesday said the "reprehensible acts contrast with the government's declared undertaking to create the right conditions for holding elections."
It called for "an effective judicial inquiry" to bring those responsible to book. The statement echoed a similar appeal on Monday by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The government on Tuesday blamed "vandals and bystanders" who had attacked the security forces and thrown stones at their vehicles.
"Inquiries are underway to establish responsibility in connection with the recorded deaths," according to a government report read by acting spokesman Felix Kabange Numbi.
Kabila, 46, has been in power since 2001, at the helm of a regime widely criticised for corruption, repression and incompetence.
His constitutional term in office expired in December 2016 but he has stayed on, stoking a bloody spiral of violence.
Under a deal brokered by the powerful Catholic Church, he was allowed to stay in office provided new elections were held in 2017.
The authorities then postponed the election until December 23 this year, citing what they said were logistical problems in preparing for the vote.
The delay, coupled with the mounting violence, has placed Kabila on collision course with the church, which has a prominent role in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to its educational and social care work.
Sunday's marches urged Kabila to public declare that he would not stand again in December.
The government of the economically-ravaged country has for many years heavily subsidized petrol and Maduro says this has now led to a voracious black market in oil smuggled to neighbouring countries.
Iraqi premier will meet Turkish President Erdogan during the visit
US to strengthen military 'like never ever before,' Trump says of $716B bill
Some 69 children were among those arrested by Israel last month
The militant was convicted of killing a number of police and army personnel in Nineveh province
If US officials confirm "the offer for the FBI to investigate links in Florida with the assassination plan... I would agree for the FBI to come here," Maduro said at an event with top military leaders late on Saturday.
Move comes after US re-imposed first round of economic sanctions on Iran, targeting country’s banking sector
Move comes few days after Pakistan, Russia signed agreement for military officers’ training
More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since March
Clothing retailer’s advertising campaign on YouTube receives more than 1 million hits
Officer Mike Moore tells group of African Americans 'you don’t belong in my city'
‘Terrorists’ attempted to infiltrate Iraqi territory from Syria, Defense Ministry says
US President Donald Trump said Friday he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, adding to pressure on that nation's troubled economy amid a diplomatic row with Washington.
Fredericton police in eastern Canada calls on public to stay in their homes with doors locked for safety
Italian Foreign Ministry called on all parties to respect cease-fire