Press Release on the Human Rights Situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is closely monitoring the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in particular in the eastern part of the country, in North and South Kivu.

    The Commission is dismayed by the worsening human rights situation in eastern DRC, a part of the country suffering from insecurity caused by the creation of various armed groups, including the M23 rebels who carry out all forms of human rights violation in the two Kivus.

    The Commission is further concerned by the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the forced displacement of populations as a result of the serious and massive human rights violations perpetrated by pro- and anti-government armed groups against civilians in eastern DRC, including summary executions, rape of women and recruitment of child soldiers.

    The Commission deplores the several attacks carried out, according to a UN report, in the South of Masisi in North Kivu by armed groups and during which at least 264 civilians, including 83 children, were arbitrarily executed between April and September this year.

    The Commission reiterates its firm condemnation of the acts of violence committed under the circumstances mentioned above and calls upon all parties to the conflict to put an end to fighting and respect international humanitarian law.

    The Commission further calls upon all the parties to bring an immediate end to hostilities and to engage in dialogue towards finding a peaceful solution to the conflict and restoring peace, security and stability.

    The Commission reminds the Congolese Government of its primary responsibility in ensuring security across the country and the protection of its citizens, and calls upon the Government to take the necessary measures to put an end to the crisis and establish its full control in eastern DRC, in particular in the Kivu provinces.

    The Commission welcomes the withdrawal of M23 troops from Goma and commends the efforts of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and other organisations towards restoring peace and security in eastern DRC.

    The Commission calls upon the Government of the DRC to take the necessary measures to put an end to impunity and ensure that all alleged perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice.

    The Commission further calls upon the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the African Union and the international community at large to continue their efforts towards finding a peaceful solution to the persistent conflict in the two Kivus and restoring lasting peace in the DRC.

     

    Banjul, 18 December 2012

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      Date: 19 December 2012

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