Statement on the disproportionate use of force during the demonstration on May 20, 2023

The United States is concerned by indications of disproportionate use of force by security forces in response to protests in Kinshasa on Saturday, May 20, including assault on a minor.

The United States’ commitment to the right to assemble, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press is unwavering; these rights are the bedrock of a healthy democracy.  We support the right of Congolese people to protest peacefully to voice their concerns and aspirations.  We underscore the importance of exercising those rights in a peaceful manner.

We welcome the government of the DRC’s swift commitment to identify and detain security officials responsible for disproportionate use of force and welcome the Minister of Human Rights’ affirmation of the importance of justice for victims of human rights violations.