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UN rights council adopts resolution condemning Congo abuses

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] adopted a resolution [text, DOC; materials] Monday condemning human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo [ICC materials] at the close of a special session [official website] on renewed violence in the country. The Council singled out abuses in the eastern province of North Kivu, including sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers. It adopted by consensus [Reuters report] a draft submitted by Egypt on behalf of an African group, rather than a draft proposed by France on behalf of the EU. UN Watch, [advocacy website] which testified at the special session, criticized [press release] the council for failing to reinstate an independent monitor and commence a fact-finding mission to investigate abuses.

At the opening of the session Friday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] urged [statement text] accountability for abuses as a prerequisite to quelling six years of fighting involving local militias. In October, the International Criminal Court (ICC) reasserted its jurisdiction [JURIST report] over Congo war crimes issues. 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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