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DRC Used Excessive Force Against Protesters, UN Office Says

FILE - A Congolese woman holds a placard saying "Women require stable peace" as she and others sit in protest during talks between the opposition and the government of President Joseph Kabila outside the Conference episcopale nationale du Congo (CENCO) headquarters in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa, Dec. 31, 2016.

The United Nations said Wednesday that security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had used excessive and disproportionate force against people protesting President Joseph Kabila's stay in office and that more than 40 people had been killed.

A report released by the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office for its Congo mission said two children were among those killed during protests in several cities in late December. It said most victims were unarmed civilians wounded by live ammunition.

Many were protesting delayed elections that have seen Kabila remain in power. His final term had been due to end December 20.

Soon after the protests, talks brokered by Catholic Church officials ended with political parties signing an agreement for new elections this year in which Kabila will not run.