Congo Watch: UN's DR Congo “Mapping Report” to be released October 1st - UN chief urges Rwanda over Sudan peacekeepers

Thursday, September 02, 2010

UN's DR Congo “Mapping Report” to be released October 1st - UN chief urges Rwanda over Sudan peacekeepers



Photo: Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir shakes hands with Rwandan UNAMID Commander Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba on arrival at the El Fasher International Airport, north Darfur, February 24, 2010. (Photo: Reuters/via RNA News)

(AGENCIES) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Rwanda Thursday not to withdraw peacekeepers from Sudan, as it has threatened because of war crimes claims, and highlighted their role in regional stability.

A Rwandan army spokesman said Tuesday the country would withdraw about 3,500 peacekeepers from Sudan if the UN publishes a report on war crimes allegedly committed by Kigali in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Noting Rwanda's contribution to two UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Ban told journalists in Vienna: "I hope that this contribution will continue for the peace and security of the region."

"Peace and security in Darfur and Sudan has very big implications for peace in the wider region," he added.

The UN draft report alleges that Rwandan Tutsi troops and their rebel allies targeted, chased, hacked, shot and burned Hutus in the DR Congo, from 1996 to 1997, after the outbreak of a cross-border Central African war.

The army spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jill Rutaremara, said in a statement that if the report is published, the Rwandan Defence Force has a plan in place to withdraw its peacekeepers from Sudan.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced Thursday that the report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 1993 and 2003 will be made public on 1 October 2010.

“Following requests, we have decided to give concerned states a further month to comment on the draft,” Pillay said, “and I have offered to publish any such comments alongside the report itself on 1 October, if they so wish.”

According to the report, the Rwandan army and associated Congolese rebel groups systematically targeted members of the Hutu tribe in DR Congo.

The actions of the Rwandan army in seeking revenge on Hutus in DR Congo could be defined as genocide, the report said.

Sources: See reports below.

UN chief urges Rwanda over Sudan peacekeepers
AFP - Thursday, 02 September 2010

UN delays release of controversial report on Congo massacres
Deutsche Presse Agentur - Thursday, 02 September 2010, 15:29 GMT
(Geneva) - The release of a United Nations report detailing the massacre of thousands of civilians by Rwandan and Congolese forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been delayed by a month, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said Thursday.

The draft report, leaked to the media last week, outraged Rwanda and led to the East African nation threatening to pull its troops from UN peacekeeping missions, starting with Sudan's Darfur province.

'Following requests, we have decided to give concerned states a further month to comment on the draft,' Pillay said, 'and I have offered to publish any such comments alongside the report itself on 1 October, if they so wish.'

The report details hundreds of incidents and the killings of tens of thousand of non-combatants, including women and children, in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1993 and 2003.

According to the report, the Rwandan army and associated Congolese rebel groups systematically targeted members of the Hutu tribe in DR Congo.

Hutu militia slaughtered 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, which was ended by invading Tutsi forces led by Paul Kagame, who is now president of the Central African nation. Around 1 million Hutus fled to DR Congo as the Tutsi army bore down on Kigali.

The actions of the Rwandan army in seeking revenge on Hutus in DR Congo could be defined as genocide, the report said.

There were rumours that UN head Ban Ki-moon pressured Pillay to remove the word 'genocide' from the text. However, Pillay's spokesman said Ki-moon had not made any attempt to have the text altered.

Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told reporters in Kigali earlier this week that Rwandan soldiers in Darfur, numbering almost 3,500, had been put on standby for withdrawal in advance of the report's publication.

The genocide is still a sensitive subject in Rwanda. Opponents of Kagame have been arrested on charges of 'genocide ideology' for suggesting invading Tutsi forces massacred Hutu civilians.

Kagame recently won a landslide re-election.

DR Congo is still recovering from a full-scale conflict that ran from 1998-2003. An estimated 5.4 million people have died as a result of the conflict and its long aftermath.
UN Delays Congo 'Genocide' Report
Voice of America News - Thursday, 02 September 2010
Rwanda said Tuesday it is ready to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Sudan if the UN published what it called the "outrageous and damaging report.

Rwanda asked for response on UN “Genocide” report
RNA News - Thursday, 02 September 2010 16:12 by RNA Reporters
Kigali: The controversial UN report which Rwanda has severely contested as it claims its forces massacred civilians in DR Congo over a 10-year period will be released in October with comments from the named countries, its authors said Thursday.

UN human rights chief announces release date for DR Congo “Mapping Report”
United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 2, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced Thursday that the report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 1993 and 2003 will be made public on 1 October 2010.

“Following requests, we have decided to give concerned states a further month to comment on the draft,” Pillay said, “and I have offered to publish any such comments alongside the report itself on 1 October, if they so wish.”

The mapping exercise and its resulting report are unprecedented in scope, covering ten years and the entire territory of the DRC, not just the war-torn east. The report describes a total of more than 600 incidents in the DRC between 1993 and 2003 in which tens of thousands of people were killed. Most of these attacks were directed against non-combatant civilian populations consisting primarily of women and children. Over 1,280 witnesses were interviewed to corroborate or invalidate alleged violations, including previously undocumented incidents, and more than 1,500 documents were collected and analysed during the two years that it took to research and write the report.

The overarching objective of the DRC Mapping Exercise is “to formulate a series of options aimed at assisting the Government of the DRC in identifying appropriate transitional justice mechanisms to deal with the legacy of these violations, in terms of truth, justice, reparation and reform.”
- - -

U.S. HELPS TO BRING CONGO REBELS TO JUSTICE

US helps to bring Congo rebels to justice, Hillary says
Report from Miraya FM - Thursday, 26 August 2010 11:05
The United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US will help any effort to bring to justice rebels accused in the mass rape of women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rebels from the Mai Mai militia and Rwandan Hutu FDLR, who occupied the town of Luvungi in North Kivu province from July 30 to Aug. 3, raped and assaulted at least 154 civilians, according to UN figures.

The UN adopted a resolution last year recognizing the importance of preventing and responding to sexual violence as a tactic of war against civilians. However, Clinton said it was now time for member nations to go beyond that with specific steps to protect civilians against sexual violence and prosecute those who commit such atrocities. The UN has a peacekeeping force of nearly 20,000 members in Congo. A UN spokesman said the peacekeeping force only heard about the incident in the eastern province more than a week after it happened. The world body said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was outraged by the attacks and dispatched a top official to Congo on Tuesday. The UN did not spell out the precise mandate of the mission.

Labels: , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home