UN, OAS ‘Saddened’ by Violent Scenes at US Capitol Building

Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Top United Nations officials, including the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, and the Organization of American States (OAS) have expressed sadness over the violence that erupted on Wednesday when protestors stormed the US Capitol building, temporarily bringing to a halt the certification of the results of last November’s Presidential Elections.

The UN noted that several thousand protesters marched on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., the heart of American democracy and home to the US House of Representatives and the Senate, after being addressed by President Trump and his supporters outside the White House.

In a statement, the UN said that law enforcement officers were overwhelmed, and, amidst scenes of mob violence and clashes with police, seen across the world on television, one woman was reportedly shot and killed inside the Capitol building.

“The Secretary-General is saddened by the events at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday,” said a spokesperson for António Guterres, in response to questions from reporters.

“In such circumstances, it is important that political leaders impress on their followers the need to refrain from violence, as well as to respect democratic processes and the rule of law.”

Volkan Bozkir, president of the UN General Assembly, also voiced his dismay at the scenes that unfolded on Capitol Hill.

In a tweet, Mr. Bozkir, said that the “US is one of the world’s major democracies.”

“I believe that peace and respect for democratic processes will prevail in our host country at this critical time”, he added.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organization that promotes world-wide parliamentary dialogue and representative democracy, also denounced the violence.

“The IPU and the parliamentary community strongly condemn the violence and the assault on the US Capitol by protestors on Wednesday 6 January”, said the body in a statement.

“The integrity of this bastion of democracy and of the representatives of the people of the United States must be respected”, it urged.

Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary-General said he was “deeply dismayed” by the news of the violence.

“This is an unacceptable and disgraceful assault on democracy and its representatives,” he said.

In Washington, D.C., the OAS General Secretariat condemned and repudiated “the attack against institutions being carried out today in the United States by protesters who disavow recent electoral results.

“Democracy has as its fundamental pillar the independence of the powers of the state, which must act completely free of pressure,” it said in a statement on Wednesday. “The exercise of force and vandalism against the institutions constitutes a serious attack against democratic functioning.

“We urge a return to much-needed rationality and a conclusion of the electoral process in accordance with the Constitution and the corresponding institutional procedures,” the OAS added.

CMC

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