DR of Congo UN mission investigates use of police force against demonstrators

“The inquiry should establish whether the demonstrators constituted, by their number or their behaviour, a serious threat to public order,” MONUC said, explaining: “If that was not the case, the use of force by the CNP (Congolese National Police) was not justified.”A recent Security Council mission to the country warned of political deterioration in the country on the eve of the elections, which will be the first in the vast country in 45 years and the largest and most complex electoral-assistance mission ever undertaken by the UN, despite the fact that preparations for a successful poll are on course.MONUC noted that Congolese laws provide for the right to hold public demonstrations, and yesterday’s, having been duly announced, should not have been prohibited and repressed. read more

Some heritage sites cannot be preserved and should be allowed to decay

first_imgWe should “let go” of some of the country’s most prided heritage sites and leave them to decay “gracefully”, a leading British academic has said.Professor Caitlin DeSilvey has suggested that despite people’s “strong feelings” some perishing landmarks should be allowed to crumble because of climate change and falling budgets.”There is room to explore more creative approaches in how we care for heritage,” said Prof DeSilvey, who is an associate professor of cultural geography at the University of Exeter.”What happens if we choose not to intervene? What possibilities emerge when change is embraced rather than resisted? What if we allow things to become ruins? “Processes of decay and disintegration can be culturally – as well as ecologically – productive, but we also need to recognise that people have very strong feelings about these places, and those need to be considered as well.”The National Trust gave £466,918 for works on St Michael’s Mount in 2015/16 – the Cornish island which is home to a medieval church and castle – and £183,350 on the Grade I-listed Croughton Court in Warwickshire.It spent £72m overall in 2015/16, which was more than 10 per cent of the year’s £541m expenditure, on property projects.Prof DeSilvey cites the former atomic weapons testing facility at Orford Ness in Suffolk as a flagship example.The shingle spit, which was a secret military base for the Ministry of Defence during the Second World War and the Cold War but is now a nature reserve, is managed by the Trust through a policy of “continued ruination”.”Orford Ness is an interesting case because it shows that we don’t always have to associate ruination with failure and neglect,” she said.”Where the process of physical decay is going on, and nature is moving in, we can try to see this in a positive light and ask ourselves what we can learn from those changes.”The National Trust also spends an average £1,500 each week on maintaining and protecting Mullion Harbour in Cornwall from increasingly powerful winter storms.”One way to think about places like Mullion is to consider how we could mark the ‘afterlife’ of the harbour by re-using its materials in other structures, and remembering its passing in that way,” she said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Orford Ness in Suffolk is managed through a policy of "continued ruination" Orford Ness in Suffolk is managed through a policy of “continued ruination”Credit:Martin Pope “It’s hard to let go and I am asking how we can do this gracefully and attentively.”This approach only applies in certain circumstances – when preservation or repair is not possible or realistic due to cost or other issues.”Prof DeSilvey gives further arguments in her book, Curated Decay, which was published in February.Phil Dyke, coast and marine adviser for the National Trust, said: “Good conservation is about the careful management of change.”Our approach at the coast is to adapt to the effects of rising sea levels and more frequent storms.”We’re committed to protecting historic buildings and structures when it is realistic – but at the same time making sure we understand, record and celebrate the significance of those that are most at risk of being lost.” There is room to explore more creative approaches in how we care for heritageProfessor Caitlin DeSilveylast_img read more