Security forces gassed voters in killing wave, U.N. says (39715)

Mar. 20 (GIN) – The human rights office at the United Nations has reported over 30 civilians killed in Kinshasa by the government’s army, police and elite Republican Guard.

The killings, tear gassing and arbitrary arrests took place after elections last year, according to a new UN report.

International observers say last November’s disputed elections, won by President Joseph Kabila, were flawed. Results showed Kabila winning 100 percent of votes at some balloting stations, and more than 100 percent of registered voters taking part at other stations where he won.

President Kabila has admitted that there were mistakes in the electoral process, but said no poll was 100% perfect and rejected concerns that the results, criticised by Western observers, lacked credibility.

Meanwhile in a related development, the International Criminal Court this week convicted Thomas Lubanga, head of a rebel militia that enlisted boys and girls under 15, drugging them, and putting them to work killing his enemies. “Unlike Joseph Kony, nobody ever made a viral video about Lubanga,” noted an editorial in the Los Angeles Times. “The verdict is the first time an international trial has focused solely on the recruitment of underage soldiers. It will set a precedent useful in future trials.”