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HRW report warns of Congo war crimes

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] warned of possible war crimes being committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo [JURIST news archive] in a new report [report, PDF] released [press release] Tuesday. The rights group claims that since disputed 2006 elections [JURIST report], approximately 500 people have been killed by Congolese security forces, and about 1,000 more have been detained and possibly tortured. The 96-page report, titled "We Will Crush You," observed:

The 2006 presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the first in over 40 years, raised hopes for stability and improved governance in this vast, war-torn nation. Yet in the two years following elections, there have been disturbing signs that Congo’s democratic transition is not only fragile, but that the newly elected government is brutally restricting democratic space. The government of President Joseph Kabila has used violence and intimidation to eliminate its political opponents beginning in the immediate aftermath of the election’s inconclusive July-August 2006 first round.
Earlier this month, the International Criminal Court reasserted jurisdiction [JURIST report] over local war crimes issues in the Congo in the wake of renewed fighting [BBC report] in the Congolese provinces of North and South Kivu. UN officials on the ground have also warned [JURIST report] of possible war crimes and genocide being committed by militias attacking civilian populations.

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