UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The United Nations needs to stay engaged with leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure future elections are free and fair, an envoy said.
Herve Ladsous, U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, told members of the Security Council the political situation in DRC was tense nearly four months after contested presidential elections.
More than two dozen people, including members of the DRC opposition, were killed in conflicts that followed a court decision that upheld election results giving President Joseph Kabila a win over opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.
Western leaders questioned the credibility of the election, though Ladsous said having elections in general were a challenge in DRC, one of the least developed countries in the world.
Washington this week said it was committed to helping with disarmament efforts in the region, where militants with the Lord's Resistance Army are blamed for more than 250 attacks in the region last year.
Ladsous said, in his statement, the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC, known by its initials MONUSCO, should continue working with DRC authorities on upcoming local and provincial elections so they "satisfy the Congolese political actors, contribute to dialogue and the opening of the political space."