Corpses suggest more violations by peacekeepers
From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – RIGHTS groups have made more damning findings of human rights abuses by peacekeepers in the Republic of Congo, indicating the soldiers killed 18 people, including women and children, that were reported missing between December 2013 and June last year.
A grave has been found near a peacekeeping base in Boali, where 12 remains of people the soldiers earlier identified as having escaped detention have been exhumed.
It is believed they were tortured to death.
The alleged crimes took place while the peacekeepers served in the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission, known as MISCA, and in the United Nations peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA.
Following the exhumation of the grave, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has written to the African Union, united Nations and President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo urging credible investigations to bring those responsible to justice.
The rights group said authorities should work together to ensure full accountability for these crimes and prevent such crimes from recurring.
“No peacekeeper should be above the law,” said Lewis Mudege, Africa researcher at HRW said.
Last year, UN human rights investigators investigated the crimes committed by peacekeepers in Boali and in Bossangoa.
Earlier this year, HRW also published a report on sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls by Congo peacekeepers, among others, in Bambari.
– CAJ News
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