UN rights expert condemns recent incidents in northeast DR of Congo

22 September 2003

The United Nations expert on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has condemned recent incidents in Bunia, during which militia fighters fired shots at UN military observers carrying out a disarmament operation in the area.

Special Rapporteur Iulia Motoc once again called on the armed militias and the ethnic communities in Ituri to end the fighting, which has caused thousands of civilian victims, especially women and children, and to cooperate fully with the United Nations. She reiterated that there would be no impunity for those who are found guilty of the massive violations of human rights committed in Ituri.

Ms. Motoc congratulated the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) for using all necessary means to accomplish its mandate, which includes the disarmament and demobilization of armed groups.

The Special Rapporteur also asked the DRC Government to accelerate the implementation of measures to restore the judicial system in Ituri. "The absence of a court of justice and of appropriate detention areas does not facilitate the return of peace and security in Ituri," she said.


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