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DR Congo: UN submits report on February violence in far west to authorities

DR Congo: UN submits report on February violence in far west to authorities

Ross Mountain, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (second from left)
The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) said today that it has sent a report on the February 2008 violence in the Bas-Congo province to the Congolese authorities.

The report deals with human rights abuses committed by Government forces and by members of the Bunda Dia Kongo (BDK) armed movement during the February stand-off between the two sides in the far west of the country.

MONUC expects the report to be released to the public after the Congolese Government has confirmed they have received it.

The Congolese national police have been involved in violent and sometimes deadly clashes with the BDK politico-religious movement since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, the UN mission notes an overall decrease in the number of violations of recent agreements between the Government and various armed groups in North and South Kivu provinces in the east of the country.

Over the weekend, the UN’s Deputy Special Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator Ross Mountain visited Goma, the main town in North Kivu Province, to assess the security and humanitarian situation in the area.

MONUC noted “with satisfaction” a decrease in the number of ceasefire violations by different military factions in the Kivus. The UN mission also called on all armed groups in the provinces and in other parts of the country to release child combatants in their ranks.

After discussing the impact of the global food crisis on already extremely vulnerable populations in the Kivus, Mr. Mountain said that the UN, in close consultation with the Congolese authorities, was looking for rapid solutions to improve the situation.