All sides in DR Congo continue to violate human rights, UN report finds
Government troops, national police, foreign groups and local militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continue to contribute to deteriorating human rights conditions, the United Nations peacekeeping mission to the country (MONUC) said in a report released today.
The report, assessing the human rights situation in the DRC in April, found that both the armed forces – known as FARDC – and the police (PNC) are among the main violators, including through rapes and acts of torture.
The inspector-general of the FARDC has been suspended from duty for shooting a 20-year-old street dweller in Kinshasa, the capital, while FARDC members have carried out armed robberies, extortion and many arbitrary arrests.
The number of violations by Congolese police also rose over the previous month’s figures, with at least two killings, 13 rape cases and more than 100 arbitrary arrests or acts of detention.
Other segments of the security service, as well as armed militia – including the Patriotic Resistance Front in Ituri (FPRI) and the National Congress for the Defence of the Congolese People (CNDP) – have also been implicated in human rights abuses, such as illegal detention, beatings and arrests.
The report also found that the Government had responded by prosecuting some soldiers, with five men recently given jail sentences ranging from five years to 15 years for the raping of minors.
But it also noted that, at a time when the number of jailbreaks is mounting, the Government continues to deny access to prisons in many parts of the vast country to MONUC’s human rights officials.