UN must intervene to halt DRC bloodbath

DRC bloodbathFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) –THE United Nations has been urged to establish a commission of inquiry into the deadly violence in the central Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Up to 1 000 people have been killed since large-scale violence between the Congolese army and the Kamuina Nsapu movement broke out in August 2016.
The killing of Nsapu sparked the bloodshed.
Over 1,3 million people have been displaced from their homes in recent months, including more than 23 500 who have fled to neighboring Angola.
The UN has not been spared. Some members of its Group of Experts on Congo, Zaida Catalán, a Swedish-Chilean, and Michael Sharp, an American, were killed in March while investigating widespread human rights abuses in the region.
It remains unclear who was responsible. Four Congolese assisting them are still missing.
UN investigators have confirmed the existence of at least 42 mass graves in the Kasai region, indicating the death toll was higher.
Congolese soldiers have used excessive force in violation of international law, killing scores of suspected Kamuina Nsapu members and sympathizers, including large numbers of women and children.
Members of the group, armed largely with sticks and other crude weapons, have recruited children and carried out targeted attacks , killing police officers, soldiers and local officials.
A coalition of over 200 Congolese and nine international nongovernmental organizations has called on the UN Human Rights Council to establish a commission to probe the crisis.
Paul Nsapu, deputy secretary-general of the International Federation for Human Rights, said engagement with UN was critical to help protect civilians from further violence.
He proposed the UN commission press for accountability for violations by the Congolese army and armed groups.
“A strong message is needed to show that these crimes won’t go unpunished,” said Nsapu.
CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=20245

Posted by on Jun 2 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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