Britain suspends DR Congo police aid after abuse allegations

27 Nov 2014 / 14:34 H.

    KINSHASA: Britain has suspended aid destined for police reforms in the Democratic Republic of Congo after allegations that security forces killed or abducted dozens of people during a crackdown on gangs, officials said Wednesday.
    The suspension of the aid programme came after a UN report in October said at least nine people had been summarily executed and 32 forcefully "disappeared" during the operation in the capital Kinshasa.
    The operation known as Likofi, or Punch in the local Lingala language, ran between November 2013 and February this year.
    "The UK suspended its Security Sector Accountability and Police Reform programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo soon after the publication of a UN Joint Human Rights Office report, released in October 2014," a spokeswoman for British aid agency DFID said.
    "The report alleges that human rights violations were committed by elements of the Congolese National Police during the anti-delinquency operation Likofi."
    The government had dismissed the UN report as "malicious" and "false" and expelled the director of the UN Joint Human Rights Office.
    A Human Rights Watch report issued earlier this month on the same operation alleged more than 80 people were summarily killed or forcibly disappeared.
    DFID is an important donor for DR Congo police reforms and had committed to spending 60 million pounds (75 million euros, US$95 million) as part of a five-year programme begun in 2009. – AFP

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