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The acts of violence committed on 31 December 2017, in connection with the anniversary of the New Year's Eve Agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, claimed the lives of several protesters and injured many others.
The use of violence by the Congolese authorities to suppress any form of attempted peaceful demonstration, even disrupting religious services, runs contrary to the Congolese Constitution, which guarantees the right to demonstrate and freedom of assembly.
The blocking of media and social networks is also a serious infringement of freedom of expression.
The EU offers its condolences to the families of the victims. The EU supports the call by MONUSCO/UNJHRO for condemnation of the arbitrary arrests and calls for the immediate release of those detained, who include a number of religious prisoners.
The Congolese authorities have a duty to protect and not suppress their citizens. They must redouble their efforts to implement fully the easing of tensions sought in the New Year's Eve agreement, allowing progress to be made towards credible elections in 2018. The EU will continue to monitor the situation.