Monday, October 15, 2012

Congo criticized on human rights record

The plight of the poor cannot be improved as long as the government over them has no regard for human rights. That is essentially the situation now in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Recent elections that brought the current leadership to power were widely corrupt. There are also reports of many killings, rapes and more against the citizens in the northern provinces of the Congo.

Despite all the turmoil a summit of heads of state is taking place there. A coalition of French speaking nations is conducting meetings at the capital of Congo. Leaders attending the summit are openly criticizing the Congo government but still we wonder if it is enough. The nation ranks last worldwide in measures of health, education, and wealth.

From Reuters Alert Net writers Jonny Hogg and Elizabeth Pineau are covering the summit.

"Democracy is not a lesson. Democracy is a right, and for those in power it is a responsibility," French President Francois Hollande told reporters after a meeting with civil society group leaders in Kinshasa.
Hollande is the star invitee to this year's Francophonie summit - the first to be held in central Africa - but cast a pall over preparations last week by calling Congo's rights record "totally unacceptable".
Representatives from more than 70 French-speaking countries have arrived in Kinshasa for the 14th Francophonie summit which runs until Oct 14, with Congo's M23 rebellion and the Islamist takeover of northern Mali topping the agenda.
At the summit's opening ceremony Hollande greeted Kabila with the briefest of handshakes while warmly embracing Abdou Diouf, the former Senegalese president and current secretary general of the Francophonie.
Members of Hollande's entourage said Hollande had earlier met privately with Kabila for a "frank and direct" discussion about human rights that lasted 30 minutes.

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