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Congo conflict narrowing world's focus

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 18 (UPI) -- The Democratic Republic of the Congo's eastern conflict remains the focus of attention while conflicts elsewhere in the country have gone unnoticed.

Kyung-wha Kang, U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that rebel violence in the North Kivu province in eastern Congo has been the sole focus of ongoing international attention.

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Despite the good that could come from the attention in helping combat the rebel Lord's Resistance Army, ongoing human rights violations and threats to security elsewhere in the country are being neglected, the United Nations reported.

"The public space for protests and criticism in the rest of the country has diminished," Kang told the council, according to the United Nations.

"Mainly as a result of inadequate wages, police and army officers commonly use their power to obtain financial or other benefits, often by using arbitrary arrests and physical force."

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