The UN is mediating among political parties in Mbuji-Mayi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo's Kasai Oriental Province, following last week's violence.
The UN Mission in the country, known as MONUC, sent additional peacekeepers to the city on Friday to beef up security.
"MONUC finds it necessary to have a stronger presence to help diffuse this crisis as well as to ensure against similar crises in the future," Mamady Kouyate, the head of the mediation effort for MONUC, told IRIN on Monday.
Violent demonstrations last week left at least two people dead and 12 others wounded. The offices of all the main political parties in the province were ransacked and burned.
One of the parties is veteran opposition politician Etienne Tshisekedi's l'Union pour la democratie et le progres Social (UDPS); another is President Joseph Kabila's Parti du peuple pour la reconstruction et le developpement, and a third is Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba's Mouvement pour la Liberation du Congo.
UDPS Secretary-General Remy Masamba accused local authorities of setting fire to the party's office during a curfew. He also said the police made arbitrarily arrests of UDPS members and mistreated them.
Speaking from Mbuji-Mayi on Monday, Masamba told IRIN that according to witnesses, the Kasai Oriental governor, Dominique Kanku, was directly responsible for the damage. He said UDPS would file a lawsuit against Kanku.
However, Kanku denied Masamba's accusations.
Kanku said either the UDPS "burned their own offices" or members of other parties did it in reprisal. Most of Tuesday's demonstrators were members of the UPDS, he said.
The protests were over an expected decision by the national assembly to postpone general elections. Kabila has announced that the elections, initially due in June, will now be held in the same month in 2006.
Kouyate said MONUC was organising a peace forum to be held in the coming weeks and that the three main parties had all agreed to take part.
One of the purposes of the forum would be to improve the conditions of the three million inhabitants of Mbuji-Mayi. Currently, less than 3 percent to 5 percent of the city's residents have water and electricity.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.
This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have.
But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking.
We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.
The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses.