LMG: United Nations report into DRC election violence highlights role of former Governor of Mai-Ndombe Province Gentiny Ngobila

NEW YORK, March 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The United Nations Human Rights Commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently released a report concerning election violence in the City of Yumbi Within the Mai-Ndombe province. i

The UN investigation team was able to verify that at least 535 men, women and children died and 111 others injured in Yumbi town, Bongende village and Nkolo II village. The report highlighted attacks carried out at four locations between December 16-18, 2018 and regarded them as potential crimes against humanity.

The Governor responsible for the province encompassing Yumbi at the time of these attacks, Gentiny Ngobila is currently a candidate in the Kinshasa province elections due to be held April 10, 2019 and there are local questions as to whether his involvement in this situation makes his candidacy as a prospective Governor for the next Five years legitimate.

On February 23rd, 2019 Charges were filed against the ex-Governor Gentiny Ngobila by the Auditor General of the DRC Military, the FARDC. ii

A recent interview with the DRC Minister for Human Rights, Marie-Ange Mushobekwa, stressed the seriousness of the situation for former Governor and Kinshasa Candidate Gentiny Ngobila, “It is evident that the Governor who was on duty had to take steps to stop the massacres, and in any case, it would be a key witness for the time of the trial. He will have to explain why the massacres could not be stopped.”  iii

The UN report stresses that the violence was facilitated by the absence of action to prevent it, noting “provincial authorities appear to have failed… to protect the population.” iv “In spite of clear signs of rising tensions and increased risk of violence, no steps were taken to reinforce security ahead of the attacks and police were removed.” v

i Office of the High Commissioner, UNHR office, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/CD/Report_on_Yumbi_March2019.pdf

ii Auditor General of the FARDC February 26th 2019 1.320/A12 “Mr Gentiny Ngobila et. al. in relation to the situation of the genocidal massacres in Yumbi and its environs against the banunu-bobangi people”

iii RFI, “DRC: ending arbitrary arrests” March 22nd, 2019 http://m.rfi.fr/emission/20190322-rd-congo-fin-arrestations-arbitraires-ministre-droits-humains-mushobekwa

iv SOURCE: AP, March 12 2019, “UN: December massacre in Congo left 535 people dead”

v SOURCE: UN News, March 12 2019, “DR Congo: ‘New waves of violence’ likely, UN warns, unless State acts to prevent intercommunal reprisals” https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/03/1034511

CONTACT: Peter Ellison, p.ellison@lmg.com