Amnesty: UN peacekeepers and Congolese authorities must protect civilians News
Amnesty: UN peacekeepers and Congolese authorities must protect civilians

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Friday called on [press release] UN peacekeepers and Congolese authorities to protect the country’s civilians from armed rebels that are considered extremely dangerous. AI claims that the rebels have killed more than 100 people during the month of October. In the most recent attack, it was reported that 18 civilians were killed and seven seriously wounded by the opposition group, the Allied Democratic Forces [TRAC backgrounder]. These attacks are thought to be in response to Congolese military operations launched in January with the help of the UN peacekeeping organization MONUSCO [official website]. AI Deputy Regional Director for East Africa Sarah Jackson stated:

The ADF and other armed groups must renounce their unlawful campaign of violence against civilians. The Congolese authorities and UN peacekeepers must ensure civilians in peril are protected… These acts of unlawful killings and abductions of civilians must not go unpunished. The Congolese authorities should ensure that prompt impartial and independent investigation is conducted to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) [BBC backgrounder] has been the site of considerable human rights abuses committed by both government forces and various rebel groups. Last month rights experts from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced the findings of a report alleging a number of summary executions [JURIST report] and forced executions carried out against civilians by Congolese national forces during operation “Likofi” between November 2013 and February 2014. In July the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict presented a report outlining the situation of the child in the DRC, which found the recruitment of child soldiers [JURIST report] persists. In June the head of the UN Mission in the DRC strongly condemned [JURIST report] an outbreak of deadly violence in the eastern areas of the DRC, sparked by a confrontation over cattle.