United Nations report on decade of human rights abuses in Congo must be followed by prosecutions or cycle of violence will continue, Amnesty International warns


A United Nations report released today that documents gross human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) must be translated into action to hold those responsible to account, Amnesty International said.

Salil Shetty, Amnesty International\’s Secretary General, said: \”It is now up to the Congolese government — with support of regional governments and donors — to ensure the conclusions of the report are translated into concrete action. This means investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the horrific crimes perpetrated in the DRC and awarding reparations to the victims.

\”The cycle of violence and abuses will only stop if those responsible for crimes under international law are held to account,\” said Shetty. \”The publication of this report should be the beginning of a process to ensure accountability in the Great Lakes region and not the end of it.\”

Amnesty International has reported that civilians in the DRC continue to be the victims of mass killings, extrajudicial executions, forced recruitment of child soldiers, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence and enforced disappearances.

The so-called U.N. mapping report is the most comprehensive investigation into serious human rights violations committed in the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003. The report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documents the most serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law and presents a series of possible options to bring those perpetrators to justice.

Amnesty International urges the Congolese government and the United Nations to urgently develop a long-term, comprehensive plan to end impunity for crimes committed during the decade covered by the report as well as for crimes that continue to be committed on a daily basis.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.