The 51st Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
12 September - 7 October 2022
Item 10 - Enhanced ID on the report of HC and experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo
5 October 2022
Statement of International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
Delivered by Rasika Gopalakrishnan
Since 2012, the army of M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo has continued to endanger and displace thousands of civilians across the country. Despite several attempts at peaceful negotiations, the army has persisted in its attacks on the Armed Forces of the DRC, thereby leading to social, political, and economic instability in the region.
The team of international experts observed that several towns and provinces have passed into the hands of the Congolese Revolutionary Army, creating a hostile and dangerous environment for women, children, and other vulnerable communities. Such actions place the UN Peacekeepers as well as the civilians of the DRC in great danger. It was noted that the peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, had to be evacuated due to concerns for their safety.
Although the country has taken both diplomatic and humanitarian steps to resolve this dispute, the team of independent experts strongly believes that an increase in cooperation between various stakeholders is required to put an end to this unrest. In their report, the team noted a correlation between the absence of the judicial system, on the one hand, and the proliferation of armed groups, on the other. Therefore, increased investment in the country’s judicial system could go a long way in combating impunity. The Report further stresses the need to establish transitional justice systems in order to protect against the occurrence of future human rights abuses.
EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice strongly urge the international community to support the mission of the Democratic Republic of Congo in establishing systems of transitional justice.