UN and DRC boost security
The United Nations and the Congolese government have intensified troops in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following the slaughter of about 120 people last month.
Rwanda slams UN over FDLR threat in DRC
Rwanda has again blasted the Security Council and the United Nations (UN) Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for failing to address the threat posed by the FDLR in the eastern parts of the country.
During a council session on the work of the UN’s Stabilization Mission in the country Monusco, Rwanda’s envoy Richard Gasana criticized the slow progress being made in getting the rebel group to voluntarily disarm.
Regional leaders agreed in July to extend for six months a deadline for the FDLR to disarm to January 2 next year, but Rwanda blasted the Council for what it called collective inaction against the group which undermines the credibility of the Council.
It is a hot-button issue for Rwanda, as over 1 500 FDLR members remain active in the jungles of eastern DRC.
Experts Gather in Kinshasa to Discuss the National Judicial Response to Serious Crimes in the DRC
The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), in cooperation with the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organized a high-level conference in Kinshasa today to discuss ways to strengthen the Congolese judicial system and its ability to investigate and prosecute serious crimes, such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
High-level representatives of the government, judiciary, resident embassies, donors and development agencies discussed the advances made in the DRC to pass relevant legislation and improve the judicial response to continuing violations against civilians in the eastern part of the country.
“The number of open investigations related to international crimes remains very limited compared with the magnitude of the atrocities committed. The recent verdict against General Jerome Kakwaku is a positive sign, but more needs to be done,” said David Tolbert, President of ICTJ. “The opportunity to discuss current obstacles to carrying out an effective domestic response to these crimes is critical.”
Congo, UN troops fire live rounds amid protest against killings
Congolese troops and United Nations peacekeepers fired live rounds to disperse hundreds of people protesting outside a U.N. base in the eastern Congolese town of Beni on Wednesday, a Reuters witness said.
Crowds gathered at the U.N. base calling for peacekeepers to leave the town after two people were shot dead on Tuesday during a protest over the U.N. mission’s failure to stem violence blamed on Ugandan rebels that has killed dozens of civilians in recent weeks.
A Reuters witness said peacekeepers and Congolese troops fired into the air to disperse crowds at Beni airport, where the U.N. force has a base. The reporter said there were a number of injuries.
A spokesman for the U.N. mission did not comment on the shooting at the base but said an enquiry had been opened into an incident involving a joint Congolese-U.N. patrol on Tuesday.
DRC Doctor Wins Human Rights Prize
European lawmakers have awarded Denis Mukwege the Sakharov prize for his work in helping thousands of gang rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It was October 25, 2012. A group of heavily armed men forced their way into the house of a Congolese doctor just as he was returning home. One of the guards tried to warn him and was shot dead.
The doctor escaped unharmed. No one was ever arrested for the attack. The target was Denis Mukwege, head of the Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu, eastern DRC. He is a gynecological surgeon and daily treats female victims of sexual violence. He has repeatedly spoken out against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. By doing so, he clearly made several enemies.