Top UN rights expert on DR of Congo welcomes arrival of French

The UN’s Geneva-based Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DRC, Iulia Motoc, welcomed the arrival of the first members of the multinational peace force that will be deployed in Bunia over the coming days in a bid to restore order after weeks of conflict among rival militias has claimed more than 400 lives.At the same time, she remained concerned about the fate of the civilian population – especially women and children – and the dramatic humanitarian situation which the civilians found themselves in throughout the whole district of Ituri as well as in volatile neighbouring areas in the north and south of Kivu. In a statement today, Ms. Motoc said that a lot of information concerning massive violations of human rights, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and even acts of genocide had been brought to her attention. And while she hoped to visit Ituri herself to follow-up on those reports, she vowed in the meantime that investigations would be undertaken to “determine the authors of these serious crimes and to bring them to justice.” The Special Rapporteur reiterated her call to the warring Hema and Lendu groups and their allies to end the conflict and to stop instigating ethnic hatred. She urged them to cooperate with the UN and the multinational force. “The only viable solution for this problem could not be reached by crimes or fighting, but by a political dialogue and respect for human rights,” she said. read more