The Democratic Republic of Congo government has rejected a call for a UN probe into civilian killings in the central Kasai and Lomani provinces, French broadcaster RFI reports.
Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende told RFI: “It is our judges who uncovered more than three mass graves and all manner of horrific acts by the Kamuina Nsapu [militants].”
Mr Mende was reacting to UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s appeal earlier, asking the UN Human Rights Council to consider opening a high-level investigation into alleged abuses against civilians by the DR Congo military following the discovery of the mass graves.
Mr Mende said local militia, whom he accused of “killing local administrators, intellectuals or even police in cold blood”, were behind the deaths, RFI said.
A graphic video posted on social media in February appeared to show evidence of a massacre of unarmed men and women in Kasai, allegedly by soldiers. The government later agreed to open a probe into the killings.
Speaking at the time, Mr Mende said:
The Congolese justice [system] is not so weak that it needs to be supported by non-governmental organisations. NGOs are not fit to conduct judicial investigations… We must exactly understand why those images are on social media platforms and seriously accuse the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”