- - Wednesday, March 21, 2012


U.N. accuses Congo forces of violations during elections

KINSHASA | Congo’s security forces committed serious human rights violations - including killings, acts of torture and arbitrary arrests - surrounding the country’s tense national elections last year, the U.N. said in a report released Tuesday.

Investigations by the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Congo found that at least 33 people were killed in the capital, Kinshasa, by security forces in November and December, and at least 83 people were wounded, mostly by bullets.

The investigation also found more than 265 people were arrested, the majority of them detained arbitrarily, the report said.

Government officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The U.N. report said the government had opened an investigation into the violations in December.

Presidential and legislative elections were held Nov. 28. Results showed President Joseph Kabila winning 100 percent of votes at some balloting stations, and more than 100 percent of registered voters participating at other stations where he won.

Congo’s Supreme Court - which Mr. Kabila loaded with his supporters last year - said the incumbent won another five-year term, with 48.95 percent of votes.


Kidnapped British woman freed in Somalia

MOGADISHU | A British tourist snatched by Somali gunmen from a resort island in Kenya was freed Wednesday after more than six months in captivity, Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.

Judith Tebbutt was taken in September. Gunmen killed her husband, David Tebbutt, during the attack. But the kidnapped woman told BBC that she did not know of her husband’s death until two weeks after her capture.

An official with the Somali militia Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama who asked not to be named said a ransom was paid to pirates for Mrs. Tebbutt’s release. No figure was given.


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