Failures in the protection of human rights and justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Failures in the protection of human rights and justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo

2010. 09. 22.

"Mr President, as member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, I strongly condemn the happenings of the last months in Congo. In the 21st century is an unadmittable fact that rape and child abuse is commonly used as a weapon of warwhile the UN forces are present in the area. In the last five years the number of such cases has grown twenty times in the DRC.The most vulnerable groups are the children and women whose life is in danger and whose human rights are totally neglected and human dignity is deprived. Moreover, they cannot integrate any more in their traditional community which leads to the destruction of the social infrastructure as well.

 The international community has to admit officially that mass rape in Congo is a war crime against humanity. There is a need of a concerted response to maintain pressure on the principals of these rapes and to bring them to justice on local level and to the International Criminal Court.

 I welcome the fact that EUSEC RDC has just been extended until 30 September 2012, hopefully EUPOL RDC will be renewed as well. Specialised personnel should be deployed to assign criminal investigation.

 Further support should be ensured by European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

 Further actions should be taken such as the provision of peacekeepers with mobile phones, the improvement of communication between MONUSCO peacekeeping force and the local population and the strengthening of the commitment to tackle rebel groups. Humanitarian agencies must be supported to reach the civil populations in need of assistance.On the other hand, the governance should bring into effect its own recently declared `zero tolerance` policy and should establish the National Committee of Human Rights as laid down in the Constitution.

All in all the protection of women and children must be given priority."