Washington, DC - The United States is deeply concerned after a second day of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, following the National Assembly's passage of electoral legislation and as the Senate began consideration of similar legislation.
The United States is troubled by reports of widespread violent demonstrations, looting, unlawful arrests, and violence against protesters. We call upon all Congolese security forces, as well as civil society and opposition members, to exercise restraint and refrain from acts of violence.
We stress the importance of protecting political space and ensuring that all citizens have the right to peacefully assemble and exercise their rights to free speech. The right to free speech is a cornerstone of democracy and critical to a credible and transparent electoral process. In this regard, the United States is also alarmed by reports that internet sites, text messaging services, and radio stations have been shut down.
The United States reiterates its support for peaceful, credible, and timely elections in the DRC in accordance with the Constitution.