The UN, the Europe Union and the African Union expressed “grave concern” Tuesday over violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Kasai region including the reported killing of 39 police officers. The organizations “condemn this despicable act and express their condolences to the families of the victims,” they said, after Congolese national police accused rebels of killing officers in an ambush on Friday.
Together with the International Organization of Francophonie, they “express deep concern over the grave situation in the Kasai provinces” in central DR Congo. They called for an “urgent response from the country’s political leaders” to curb the violence and “urge the defense and security forces to exercise restraint in the efforts to restore order in the Kasai.”
A Congolese police spokesman said Monday that the victims were killed in an “ambush” and buried in a mass grave by supporters of late militia leader Kamwina Nsapu around 75 kilometers north of Tshikapa. The remote region has been plagued by violence since mid-August, when government forces killed Nsapu, a tribal chief and militia leader who had rebelled against President Joseph Kabila’s central government.