Newscast Media NEW YORK—The United Nations has called on authorities in the
Democratic Republic of Congo to carry out criminal investigations into acts of violence
committed by the former March 23 (M23) rebels in the eastern part of the African
country between April 2012 and November 2013.
“In the light of documented breaches of human rights and international
law, it is recommended that Congolese authorities open sweeping,
thorough and fair judicial investigations on the crimes committed by
civilians and fighters in M23 in North Kivu province,” the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a
statement released on Thursday.
The UN accuses the M23 members of killing, raping and torturing hundreds of people,
stressing that the actual number of victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo could
be considerably higher.
It says some of the cases could be considered to be “war crimes and crimes against
The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over
alleged mistreatment in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(FARDC). They had previously been integrated into the Congolese army under a
peace deal signed in 2009. The group was defeated last November by government
forces and UN troops.
Several armed groups are active in the eastern Congo and are fighting for control of
the country’s vast mineral resources, such as gold, the main tin ore cassiterite, and
coltan (columbite-tantalite), which is used to make many electronic devices, including
About 2.9 million people have resettled in Congo and some 500,000 have crossed into
neighboring countries, including Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding
poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has
dragged on since 1998 and left nearly six million people dead.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media KINSHASA—Speaking before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations February 26, Russell Feingold, the U.S. special envoy for the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, said the region stands at a
crossroads between peace and ongoing conflict.
“The decisions that the Congo, the region and the international community take now
will set the trajectory of the next several years in terms of security, good
governance, and development,” he said. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>