Top UN officials with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) [official website] decried [press release] post-election violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Thursday and called for restraint. Acknowledging reports from international observers, MONUSCO indicated Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Roger Meece,
shares the concerns expressed by the observer missions, in particular with regard to the reported irregularities and the need to assess their impact on the electoral process. He also deplores the violence that marred the elections in certain areas throughout the country and calls on all political leaders to urge their partisans to refrain from any violence or other acts that may disrupt the electoral process.MONUSCO urged all parties to remain calm and await the decision of the seven-member Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) on the preliminary results of the elections. MONUSCO also anticipatorily urged parties to address any grievances they may have through peaceful means, "including the established dispute mechanisms."
The DRC has faced significant international pressure to ensure fair elections and prevent election violence. Last month, International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] said his office would prosecute individuals involved election violence [JURIST report] in the DRC. The chief prosecutor's warning came just days after the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) [official website] on urged the DRC government to take action to abolish election-related violence [JURIST report] before the presidential election on November 28. UNJHRO reported 188 cases of human rights violations related to the electoral process during the period between November 2010 and September 2011. a href="http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/New-Congolese-Electoral-Body-to-Organize-Next-Years-Election--99733769.html">Established in 2010 to organize the presidential elections [VOA report], CENI replaced the previous election commission that was widely discredited when six officials were arrested for electoral fraud [JURIST report].