Kinshasa, July 26th, 2022 (CPA).- The international NGO for the defence of human rights »Human Rights Watch » (HRW) called on Monday in its report, of which CPA has obtained a copy, for the suspension of the military aid to governments that support M23 or other armed groups responsible for abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to HRW, UN, African Union (AU) and the governments concerned should publicly denounce the abuses of M23 and those committed by others in DRC.
“Sanctions against M23 commanders should be maintained and extended to other perpetrators of serious abuses, as well as senior officials in the region complicit in the armed group’s abuses. Any political settlement should reject amnesty for those responsible for serious international crimes and not allow M23 commanders responsible for abuses to integrate into the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC)”, recommends HRW.
UN structure also wants UN, AU and DRC’s partners to support a clear strategy to fight against impunity for perpetrators of serious abuses, with a mechanism for filtering security and intelligence services, internationalized justice and a comprehensive reparations program and an effective demobilization program. The threats posed by M23 and other armed groups should be at the heart of ongoing regional discussions.
“Civilians in eastern DRC should not suffer further atrocities at the hands of M23. UN should urgently step up its efforts with national and regional authorities to prevent history from repeating itself at the expense of the people of Nord Kivu”, the report said.
M23 killings and other abuses
In its report, HRW accuses M23 fighters of having killed, last June, civilians whom they accused of colluding with FARDC, as well as those returning to their villages in search of food and other provisions.
NGO also reports that a 50-year-old teacher in Ruvumu in Nord Kivu province said that the rebels had killed his father in his presence on June 21st at his home, in front of other people who were taking refuge at home when fighters ordered them to open the door.
“My father opened the door, they hit him and then they shot his chest; they didn’t ask him for anything, they just shot him, they made me sit next to his lifeless body, with my mother… Then they took me saying that it’s as if I’m a soldier and that I am going to show them the positions of the Congolese army. Because of fear, I showed them that they were visible in the distance, leaving my life safe by threatening to kill me”, testified this chalk professional.