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UN expert to probe alleged extrajudicial killings in DR of Congo

UN expert to probe alleged extrajudicial killings in DR of Congo

A United Nations expert today announced plans to probe allegations of illegal killings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, will start a six-day visit to the country on 16 June to gather information concerning killings alleged to have occurred in Kisangani around mid-May.

Beginning her trip in Kinshasa, Ms. Jahangir will meet with government officials and hold briefings with UN representatives. In Goma, she plans to meet representatives of the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie (RCD) before heading to Kisangani, for discussions with local authorities, international agencies, witnesses and victims of alleged human rights violations, and others.

“I will endeavour to meet with all relevant parties and interlocutors, in order to make a balanced and independent assessment of the events reported,” the Special Rapporteur said.

The mission comes at the request of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, following a 24 May Presidential Statement from the Security Council on the events at Kisangani. After completing her mission, Ms. Jahangir will report to the High Commissioner, who will in turn brief the Council President.

Since her appointment as Special Rapporteur in August 1998, Ms. Jahangir, an advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has carried out field visits to Mexico, East Timor, Nepal, Turkey and Honduras, as well as to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania in connection with the Kosovo conflict.