DRC - ReliefWeb News
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Secretary-General Applauds New Framework as ‘Surest Route’ for Peace, Security, Cooperation for Democratic Republic of the Congo, Region
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the sixth meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, in New York today:
Je suis heureux de vous accueillir à cette réunion très importante.
Vous avez fait preuve de hauteur de vues en mettant fin à des décennies d’instabilité dans la région par la signature de cet accord historique en février 2013. Le moment est venu de réaffirmer que c’est à vous qu’il revient de mettre en œuvre l’Accord-cadre et d’accroître votre implication en ce sens.
This Framework remains the best path to promote peace, stability and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region. It is the surest route to improve the lives of ordinary people in an area endowed with great human and natural resources.
Through this Framework, we have made tangible progress towards reducing the threat of armed groups in the eastern DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo).
The DRC Government has also initiated reforms that bode well for the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law. I am pleased that the signatories have strengthened their cooperation on a wide range of political, judicial, security and economic issues.
At the same time, there are many obstacles to overcome in order to consolidate these gains and prevent the region from relapsing into large-scale conflict. I hope this is the last Regional Oversight Mechanism meeting that will have to discuss neutralization of the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) and other negative forces — or the repatriation of ex-M23 elements. These long-standing issues must be dealt with decisively so that we can shift our attention to other important provisions in the Framework.
Depuis notre dernière réunion, nous faisons face à un nouveau défi : la détérioration marquée de la situation politique, sécuritaire et humanitaire au Burundi.
L’an dernier encore, le Burundi était salué pour ses réussites grâce à des années d’action collective en faveur de la consolidation de la paix. Aujourd’hui, le pays est en proie à une crise multidimensionnelle. De profondes divisions se sont ravivées, qui menacent de le faire retomber dans la violence et le conflit. J’appuie l’action menée au niveau régional pour mettre fin à la crise et j’exhorte les parties burundaises à engager un dialogue ouvert afin de régler tous les points de discorde.
Several countries in the Great Lakes region will soon hold critical elections. I urge Governments and leaders to fulfil their duty to their people by respecting their national Constitutions as well as the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Elections are major milestones in young democracies. We have a duty to ensure that the countries of the region emerge stronger and more united from the processes.
I commend my Special Envoy, Said Djinnit, for developing concrete proposals to strengthen this Regional Oversight Mechanism and the Technical Support Community. I trust you will endorse these proposals today so that implementation can begin immediately. I also commend my Special Representative, Martin Kobler, for his leadership over the past more than two years, since June of 2013.
I am pleased that today’s agenda includes the Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference, to be held next February in Kinshasa. We should all work toward the shared prosperity that all countries of the region deserve. I count on your active engagement and international support to make this conference a success.
Such engagement will help advance our larger goal: to open a new future for the people of the Great Lakes region to realize their enormous potential in an atmosphere of peace, stability and full respect for human rights.
For information media. Not an official record.
Alert in Lake Chad basin (Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad): Upsurge of cholera cases in Kaduna and Borno states
The number of cholera cases is increasing in last 3 weeks (w35-37) in the two most active basins (Congo River and Lake Chad basins). Cholera is spreading through camps sheltering displaced people in Maiduguri, capital of northern Nigeria’s Borno state. In the five days up to 15 September, 187 patients were admitted to MSF’s centre, two-thirds of them in a serious state.
A newly outbreak is reported in Zaria in the Kaduna state with 192 cases recorded in two weeks. The call for vigilance in the neighboring countries around Lake Chad has to be maintained. Ministries and agencies involved in the fight against cholera must pursue measures to enhance cross-border cooperation.
Alert in DRC: westward spread from Kindu along the Congo River
In DRC, the province of Maniema, never been affected since the beginning of the year, is experiencing an acute cholera outbreak. Over the past three weeks (w35-37) , the province recorded 697 cases of cholera including 37 deaths.
Another 269 cases have been reported in the Ituri. The Minister of Public Health officially declared on September 23, the cholera epidemic ongoing in the DRC especially in the Maniema province to be the most important and worrying.
Suspected cases continue to spread along the Congo River from Kindu through people travelling by boats and motorized canoes.
Alerte dans le Bassin du lac Tchad (Nigéria, Cameroun, Niger et Tchad) : Recrudescence des cas de choléra dans les états de Kaduna et Borno
Le nombre de cas de cholera est en augmentation au cours de 3 dernières semaines (s35-37) dans les deux bassins les plus actifs (basins du fleuve Congo et lac Tchad). Le choléra se répand dans les camps abritant des personnes déplacées à Maiduguri, la capitale de l'Etat de Borno au nord du Nigeria. Dans les cinq jours précédant le 15 Septembre, 187 patients ont été admis au centre de MSF, dont deux tiers d'entre eux dans un état grave.
De nouvelles épidémies sont aussi signalées à Zaria dans l’état de Kaduna avec 192 cas en deux semaines. L’appel à la vigilance dans le pays voisins autour du Lac Tchad est donc de mise. Les efforts en matière de collaboration transfrontalière doivent être poursuivis par les ministères et les agences impliqués dans la lutte contre le choléra.
Alerte en RDC : Propagation vers l’Ouest à partir de Kindu le long du fleuve Congo
En RDC , l’épidémie vient d’affecter une nouvelle province (le Maniema) non encore touchée depuis le début de l’année. Au cours des trois dernières semaines (s35-37) , cette province a enregistré 697 cas et 37 décès de cholera. 269 autres cas ont été notifié en Ituri. Le ministre de la Santé publique, a officiellement déclaré mercredi 23 septembre l’épidémie de choléra en RDC, dont la province du Maniema se présente, pour la première fois, comme le foyer le plus important et le plus inquiétant. Les cas suspects continuent à se propager en suivant le fleuve Congo en provenance de Kindu à travers les voyageurs des bateaux, baleinières, pirogues motorisés
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Bulletin d'Information Humanitaire - Province du Maniema N°15 du 28 Septembre 2015
Plus de 800 malades de choléra enregistrés en 9 jours dans la zone de santé de Kindu.
Près de 5 000 personnes ont fui les affrontements intercommunautaires dans le Territoire de Pangi
Aperçu de la situation
Plus de 1 060 malades de choléra ont été enregistrés dans la seule zone de santé de Kindu depuis le 26 août dont au moins 800 entre le 14 et 23 septembre. Les autres malades viennent des zones de santé d’Alunguli, Kailo, Lubutu et Ferekeni, selon la Division provinciale de la santé.
A la suite de cette flambée, l’épidémie de choléra a été officiellement déclarée le 23 septembre au Maniema par le Ministre national de la santé. Un total de 2 081 malades et 77 décès ont été enregistrés dans la Province au 23 septembre depuis le début de l’épidémie.
Ces chiffres concernent les malades enregistrés dans les structures sanitaires et ne tiennent pas compte des ceux qui ne se rendent pas à l’hôpital faute d’informations et de moyens de transport.
Selon l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS), le système d’alerte précoce doit être renforcé et les autorités publiques doivent s’impliquer davantage dans la sensibilisation de la population sur la nécessité d’amener les malades dans les centres de santé les plus proches. En outre, les centres de santé manquent d’intrants pour la prise en charge des malades. L’épidémie est aggravée par l’irrégularité de la fourniture d’eau de la REGIDESO, obligeant la population à s’approvisionner dans le fleuve ou autres cours d’eau.
Dans le Territoire de Pangi, près de 5 000 personnes dont au moins 3 000 enfants ont fui les affrontements intercommunautaires dans le secteur des Ikama en date du 20 septembre, selon des sources concordantes. Ces personnes déplacées se seraient rendues dans les localités de Kampene, Tchelu et Kama où 10 d’entre elles auraient trouvé la mort. Les habitants des groupements Chalumba et Penekoka se disputent depuis des années un site minier situé à cheval entre ces deux groupements. Selon la population, les agents de la police dépêchés sur le lieu pour restaurer l’ordre public se livreraient à des pillages.
Au mois d’avril, les deux communautés s’étaient affrontées à la machette et au fusil de chasse avec mort d’hommes. Le Gouverneur de la province avait décidé la fermeture du site minier, source de conflits. La violation par une communauté de cette mesure de l’autorité provinciale serait à la base de ces nouveaux affrontements qui privent au moins 3 000 enfants de cours.
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: FYR Macedonia Inter-Agency Operational Update, 16 - 22 September 2015
■ More than 35,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the border into fyR Macedonia during the reporting period 16-22 September with a daily average of more than 5,000. Assistance with food,
NFIs, counselling, medical and psychosocial services, child friendly spaces and monitoring have been stepped up and registration is ongoing 24/7.
Situation: Central African Republic
Case: The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido
On 29 September 2015, the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido opened before Trial Chamber VII at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido are accused of offences against the administration of justice in connection with witnesses' testimonies in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.
The trial started with the reading of the charges. Presiding judge Bertram Schmitt verified that the accused persons understood the nature of the charges. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Court's Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Senior Trial Lawyer Kweku Vanderpuye then took the floor for opening statements.
The hearings will resume tomorrow with the start of the Prosecution's presentation of evidence. The opening statements of the Defence will be made at the beginning of the presentation of evidence of the Defence.
The trial is expected to take several months. During the first part, the Office of the Prosecutor will be presenting the evidence at the Prosecution's disposal. Once the Prosecution has presented all its evidence, it is the turn of the accused persons, with the assistance of their Counsel, to present their case.
Trial Chamber VII is composed of Presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt, Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Judge Raul Pangalangan. Judges will ensure that the trial is fair and expeditious and is conducted with full respect for the rights of the defence, the equality of arms and the principle of adversarial debate, having further due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses.
Background: Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido are accused of offences against the administration of justice in connection with witnesses' testimonies in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, between the end of 2011 and 14 November 2013, including corruptly influencing witnesses by giving them money and instructions to provide false testimony, presenting false evidence and giving false testimony in the courtroom. Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido are appearing voluntarily before the Court as they were granted interim release on 21 October 2014. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is in ICC custody.
YouTube for viewing: part 1, part 2 Video (MPEG-4) for viewing and download: part 1, part 2 Audio (MPEG-3) for download: Charges, Prosecutor More information on the trial can be found on this page.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: email@example.com.
You can also follow the Court's activities on YouTube and Twitter
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Human Rights Council discusses situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Libya
29 September 2015
The Human Rights Council at its noon meeting heard the presentation of a report and a study on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by an interactive dialogue, and the presentation of the oral update of the High Commissioner on the mission to investigate violations and abuses of international human rights law committed in Libya since 2014, followed by an interactive dialogue. Both discussions were held under the Council’s agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building.
Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, presenting the report and the study, said that in June, July and August 2015, the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office had documented over 1,000 human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, causing nearly 2,500 victims, mostly in the east of the country, and a sharp increase in violations by the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda. She was deeply concerned about restrictions of political rights that could impact the credibility of the forthcoming elections, and about detention conditions. She invited Member States and other actors to better coordinate and strengthen technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Speaking as the concerned country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo reiterated its will to promote and protect human rights in all circumstances and throughout all of its territory. To that end, the Government remained committed to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It welcomed that the report referred to progress achieved in the field of human rights, but regretted the inclusion of some negative aspects that had not been clearly documented. The authorities were committed to ensure accountability, and no-one enjoyed impunity for power abuses.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers welcomed progress achieved by the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the field of human rights, including the creation of an Ombudsman and a unit for human rights defenders, the adoption of an action plan to combat sexual violence by armed forces, and the adoption of a law on the prosecution of genocide and crimes against humanity. Speakers remained concerned however at remaining challenges, including restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and association and the arbitrary detention of peaceful protestors. They called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to further its cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner, and on the international community to continue providing technical assistance to the country.
Speaking were: Algeria on behalf of the African Group, European Union, New Zealand, United States, France, Botswana, Australia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Algeria, Angola, China, Belgium, Morocco, Mozambique, Ireland, Gabon, Togo, Egypt, Senegal, Spain and Sudan.
Also speaking were: International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, World Organization against Torture, International Catholic Child Bureau, Franciscans International, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Amnesty International.
The Human Rights Council then heard oral updates by Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, and by Claudio Cordoni, Director of the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division at the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, on the human rights situation in Libya.
Mr. Šimonović said it was apparent that the environment remained hostile for many persons wishing to speak out about violations and abuses, and that the breadth and depth of the violations and abuses were staggering. Some 430,000 people had been internally displaced, and refugees, migrants and asylum seekers were increasingly vulnerable to abuses and were fleeing at great risk. Amidst that climate of impunity, groups pleading allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant had gained territory and summarily executed Libyans on account of their opinion, and foreign nationals on account of their opinion and religion.
Mr. Cordoni said that the Mission was redoubling its efforts to encourage the Libyan parties to endorse without delay the full text of the Political Agreement put to them for final consideration. The Agreement set out transitional institutional arrangements, centred on a Government of National Accord, where decisions would require the consensus of the Prime Minister and two deputies.
Libya, speaking as the concerned country, stated that the Libyan people were in an extremely difficult situation, due to violent crimes committed by armed groups against the civilian population and infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of people had been affected by the violence and daily confrontations with terrorism were taking place in Benghazi. It had thus become urgent for the international community to take responsibility for what had been happening in Libya. Wrong calculations and support for certain factions in the country had led to immense destruction and increased terrorist activity. Improving the human rights situation, the rule of law and humanitarian assistance could not be achieved unless Libya received international aid and technical assistance.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers appealed to the international community to assist Libya in taking up its humanitarian and security challenges, including combatting ISIL and other extremist groups, and strengthening institutions, border security and the fight against organized criminal groups involved in trafficking of migrants and medicines. Those responsible for violence and those who obstructed or undermined Libya’s democratic transition had to face consequences for their actions. In order to ensure accountability and put an end to impunity, it was necessary to strengthen domestic and international mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court, speakers noted.
Speaking were: Algeria on behalf of the African Group, European Union, Turkey, Norway, Malta, United Arab Emirates, France, Portugal, Germany, Estonia, Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, China, Algeria, Czech Republic, Russian Federation, Angola, Italy, Kuwait, Yemen, Senegal, Egypt, and Ghana.
Also speaking were: United Nations Children’s Fund, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Human Rights Watch, Arab Commission for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
At 4 p.m., the Human Rights Council will hold interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteurs on technical assistance and capacity building to Cambodia and to Sudan in the field of human rights.
The Council has before it a report on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/30/32)
The Council has before it a corrigendum to the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/30/32/Corr.1)
The Council has before it a study on the impact of technical assistance and capacity- building on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/30/33)
Presentation of Report and Study on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
FLAVIA PANSIERI, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, introducing a report and a study on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said that the Democratic Republic of the Congo remained torn by conflicts on many levels, which were intertwined, complex, and spurred by the country’s richness in natural resources. The Democratic Republic of the Congo had experienced some of the bloodiest conflicts since the Second World War, spanning over several decades of violence.
Only in June, July and August 2015, the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office had documented over 1,000 human rights violations throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo, causing nearly 2,500 victims, mostly in the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Orientale. In the conflict-stricken provinces in the east, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by parties to the conflict against civilians, including for their real or perceived collaboration with security forces or armed groups, remained all too frequent. There had been a sharp increase in the number of violations committed by the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) combatants in comparison to the previous six months. On a more positive note, in August, a new law on modalities of application of women rights and of parity had been promulgated, constituting an important step towards ensuring equality in multiple arenas.
With elections coming up, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was deeply concerned about increased reports of restrictions of political rights and fundamental freedoms that could impact the credibility and the legitimacy of the elections. The National Assembly’s adoption in June of the bill on public demonstrations was welcome in that regard. Slow progress had been registered in the judicial proceedings against several human rights defenders and political activists, at least five of whom remained in preventive detention. Those cases were a test of the independence of the judiciary, and the judicial authorities were called upon to uphold due process in all the proceedings. Detention conditions continued to be a huge concern in the country. Ms. Pansieri said that the trial of former FARDC General Bosco Ntaganda had opened before the International Criminal Court, demonstrating that perpetrators of serious crimes would not go unpunished. The High Military Court had rendered its decision in the proceedings of the presumed murderers of the renowned human rights defender Floribert Chebeya and his driver, convicting one suspect to 15 years in prison. Steps taken to operationalize the National Human Rights Commission were welcomed.
The study on the impact of technical assistance between 2008 and 2014 in the area of human rights invited Member States and other actors to better coordinate and strengthen their technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to increase the capacity of both rights-holders and duty-bearers in the country. Such assistance could have real impact: in 2008, security and defence forces had been involved in 86 per cent of human rights violations, while that percentage in 2014 stood at 53 per cent. It was an example of a difference that could be made in people’s lives.
Statement by the Concerned Country
Democratic Republic of the Congo, speaking as the concerned country, reiterated its will to promote and protect human rights in all circumstances and throughout all of its territory. To that end, the Government remained committed to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It welcomed that the report referred to progress achieved in the field of human rights, but regretted the inclusion of some negative aspects that had not been clearly documented. The authorities were committed to ensure accountability, and no-one enjoyed impunity for power abuses. The report of the High Commissioner provided timid information of the Government’s efforts in this regard. Such a biased approach was counter-productive. The report on technical assistance and capacity building seemed to reflect more the reality in the country, by highlighting domestic initiatives in the field of human rights, including the adoption of an organic law relating to jurisdiction for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity and the creation of a hotline for human rights defenders. The support of the international community was mainly short-term assistance concentrated in the eastern part of the country. This sometimes went counter to the State’s commitment to promote and protect human rights throughout all the territory.
Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, welcomed the progress achieved on the institutional plan, including the establishment of the Constitutional Court, the National Human Rights Commission, and the body for the protection of human rights defenders. The Democratic Republic of the Congo should continue to address sexual violence and dedicate funds for such activities. European Union congratulated the progress made in combatting impunity in the armed forces and, in the light of the upcoming elections, urged the Government to ensure that journalists and activists were able to express their opinions without fear of intimidation and reprisals. New Zealand had serious concerns about the ongoing conflict in the east of the country and the human rights violations committed, including by the national security forces, and stressed the importance of a strong commitment by the Government to address the conflict-connected sexual violence. United States recognized the efforts to improve the human rights situation, in particular eliminating child soldiers from the military, and expressed concern about curtailing of the freedom of expression and the restrictions on civil society, as well as abuses and violations committed by the military and numerous armed groups. What immediate next steps should the Government take to ensure that the elections were free, fair and participatory?
France said that the efforts by the Congolese authorities on the promotion and protection of human rights ought to be further supported. The National Human Rights Commission should be made fully operational as soon as possible. Combatting impunity was an essential deterrence tool. Botswana was deeply concerned about the continuing conflict in the country, particularly in the eastern regions. The strengthening of institutional mechanisms would go a long way in addressing human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Australia was gravely concerned about the violations of human rights, including by the security forces, and the widespread sexual violence. Australia urged the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take all necessary measures to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers and to ensure that perpetrators were brought to justice. Switzerland was worried about the sentencing of some persons to several years in prison for exercising their freedom of assembly. How could better protection be provided for human rights defenders in the country? How could the Commission be made operational as soon as possible?
United Kingdom called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to strengthen its cooperation with the United Nations, and was concerned at the Congolese response to the civil unrest in January and subsequent political activity. The right to peaceful demonstration and assembly had to be upheld at all times, and the detention of protestors and activists for long periods and without charge was unacceptable. Algeria welcomed progress achieved by the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the area of human rights, including the action plan to combat sexual violence, the creation of a unit for human rights defenders and the adoption of a law on genocide and crimes against humanity. It encouraged the Democratic Republic of the Congo to further strengthen its legal framework and its cooperation with the United Nations in the field of human rights. Angola welcomed progress achieved by the Democratic Republic of the Congo in implementing the recommendations by the United Nations human rights mechanisms, and particularly in the implementation of the action plan to combat sexual violence and impunity. It urged the international community to spare no efforts to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s efforts to provide redress to the victims of sexual violence. China welcomed the steps taken by the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the field of human rights, and appreciated the support provided by the Office of the High Commissioner. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was at a critical stage for stabilizing its economy and development, and the international community should continue supporting these efforts through technical assistance.
Belgium said that the quality and credibility of the upcoming elections would be judged in view of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and expressed concern that many human rights violations were not investigated. Lack of transparency and delays in the proceedings gave the impression that the Government did not wish to establish responsibilities. Morocco welcomed the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission and said that it should work closely with national human rights institutions of the African continent to address the major challenges that awaited it. Mozambique noted the adoption of the Action Plan of the Armed Forces on fighting sexual violence and against impunity, which had led to trials of the soldiers accused of having committed serious crimes. As the commission of sexual violence had been a longstanding concern, those trials testified to the resolve to end impunity and improve the enjoyment of human rights. Ireland commended the efforts of the Government to address the human rights situation and the positive measures in combatting sexual violence. Ireland fully supported the valuable work of the Joint Human Rights Office and urged the Government to investigate all acts of intimidations and threats against United Nations human rights staff, journalists, civil society activists and human rights defenders.
Gabon welcomed the significant progress made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo in promoting and protecting human rights, particularly when it came to combatting impunity. Gabon also welcomed criminal penalties for all members of the security forces who had violated human rights. Togo commended the efforts made by the authorities in complying with international commitments on human rights. Togo noted with particular interest progress made in combatting impunity, but was concerned that serious efforts still remained to be made in ensuring that the Armed Forces respected human rights. Egypt welcomed the measures taken by the Congolese Government to combat impunity. Capacity building in human rights for the Armed Forces and security services was of great importance. International technical assistance had been vital in establishing institutions. Senegal welcomed the constant efforts made by the Congolese Government to protect and promote human rights despite multiple constraints. The path ahead was still long and difficult, and more efforts were needed to ensure proper training of the security forces, and to guarantee freedom of assembly and expression, inter alia.
Spain welcomed that progress had been made, including the implementation of the plan of action for the armed forces. Spain was however concerned about the continuing use of rape as an arm of war and the lack of accountability for perpetrators. It urged the Government to ensure respect of the rights to freedom of expression and of the press. Spain commended the work by the Office of the High Commissioner to investigate murders allegedly committed by the armed forces. Sudan welcomed the adoption of a plan for the armed forces to combat sexual violence, recommended that the Democratic Republic of the Congo strengthen its legislative framework in the field of human rights, and called for international technical assistance to the country.
International Federation of Human Rights Leagues was concerned about restrictions of human rights and the instrumentalization of justice. Human rights defenders, journalists and opponents criticizing the attempts to maintain President Kabila in power after two mandates faced harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention and violence. Authorities were urged to immediately release all persons detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association, including Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba, Fred Bahuma, Yves Makwambala, Jean-Claude Muyambo and Vano Kiboko. World Organization against Torture was concerned about the persistence of human rights violations in the pre-electoral context, including in relation to detention conditions that did not comply with human rights standards. Prison overcrowding led to further violations of the rights of detainees. Alternative measures to imprisonment had to be implemented. This topic was regrettably ignored by the international community.
International Catholic Child Bureau, in a joint statement with, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul; and Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, said that technical assistance had an important role to play in building coordination between different parts of the judiciary, particularly in terms of juvenile offenders, and to assist the work of the mediation committees and carry out investigations into cases of children in pre-trial detention. Franciscans International said that the draft Mining Code was not placed before the Parliament because of the lobby of the influential mining industry. The Council should adopt a resolution dealing with illegal trade in natural and mineral resources as the basis of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gender inequality, proliferation of small arms, and violence against women were all elements that were conducive to high rates of sexual violence, said Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, which called for the recognition of survivors of sexual violence as survivors of other forms of torture. Amnesty International was concerned about persistent impunity for crimes under international law, which paved the way for ongoing violations and abuses against civilians by armed groups and by the Congolese army. Impunity was among the main factors contributing to the mushrooming of armed groups and persistent serious crimes against civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
FLAVIA PANSIERI, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the international community would continue to pay attention to and support the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The fact that the Minister of Justice had favourably accepted recommendations in the High Commissioner’s report was important. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and MONUSCO were there to support the Government in its efforts, which would be easier if all sides shared the same spirit. Since January 2015, the Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had a new chief. A number of trials had led to convictions, and a number of officials of the armed and security forces were now serving sentences. Addressing impunity for serious, grave violations of the past was important for building a democratic society. In that respect, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights remained engaged, providing support to various national institutions, whose mandate was to promote and protect human rights. While working in partnerships, it was important to maintain an open, honest dialogue. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regularly shared any information it had on human rights violations, so that national institutions could process it. The upcoming months would be very important, as every electoral period was subject to volatility. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights remained concerned by the trend towards reducing democratic space and the growing number of violations that were being recorded. The authorities were called upon to maintain an open political space in the run-up to the 2016 elections. The international community, beyond the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and MONUSCO, continued to provide support and assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Duplication should be avoided and maximum impact ensured. Supporting human rights defenders was important, before and after the elections. Regrettably, no date had yet been fixed for the investigation of the mass grave in Maluku. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights remained committed to providing support to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Presentation of Oral Update of the High Commissioner on the Mission to Investigate Violations and Abuses of International Human Rights Law Committed in Libya since 2014
IVAN ŠIMONOVIĆ, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, provided an update on the human rights situation in Libya. He said that the human rights division of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) had documented violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. It was apparent that the environment remained hostile for many persons wishing to speak out about violations and abuses, and the team was taking appropriate measures to protect victims and witnesses. It was clear that the breadth and depth of the violations and abuses was staggering. They included attacks on civilians in densely populated areas, reprisals in the form of destruction of homes, the shelling of hospitals, unlawful killings, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and torture and other ill treatment. Some 430,000 people had been internally displaced. UNSMIL had documented cases of abductions of internally displaced persons, apparently taken on the basis of their origin. Human rights defenders and media professionals had been abducted and attacked by armed groups, further curtailing the rights to physical integrity, and freedom of expression and association. Refugees, migrants and asylum seekers were increasingly vulnerable to abuses and were fleeing at great risk. UNSMIL reported that migrants were being subjected to widespread and prolonged detention, attacks and unlawful killings, ill treatment such as chronic overcrowding, poor sanitation and health care, and insufficient food. Amidst that climate of impunity, groups pleading allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant had gained territory and summarily executed Libyans on account of their opinion, and foreign nationals on account of their opinion and religion.
There was no effective mechanism in Libya which could provide for the protection of civilians, or which could ensure the right to remedy for victims. Staff of the national human rights institution had been subjected to intimidation. Attacks against prosecutors, law enforcement officials and the judiciary continued unimpeded. Libyans had the right to seek redress for the violations and abuses committed today and during the Gadhafi regime, and to see justice done. That required that the accused be tried fairly. Other accountability mechanisms were also facing challenges. In May 2015 the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court reported to the Security Council that her office had continued to monitor allegations of crimes committed by militias and armed groups in Libya, noting that the scope of investigations was limited by instability in Libya and lack of resources. Libya had so far yet to comply with the Court’s request for the surrender of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, and the High Commissioner continued to urge Libyan authorities to cooperate with the Court. The implementation of the Political Agreement in Libya would be highly challenging and would require support in institution-building, including to establish proper law enforcement and judicial functions, and contribute to ensuring accountability and the rule of law, Mr. Šimonović concluded.
CLAUDIO CORDONI, Director of the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division, United Nations Support Mission in Libya, said that the United Nations Support Mission in Libya was redoubling its efforts to encourage the Libyan parties to endorse without delay the full text of the Political Agreement put to them for final consideration. The Agreement set out transitional institutional arrangements, centred on a Government of National Accord, where decisions would require the consensus of the Prime Minister and two deputies. The legislative functions would be performed by the House of Representatives elected in June 2014, and a newly established consultative State Council would work closely with the House on legislative and other mattes. These institutions were to govern Libya pending the adoption of a new Constitution. The Agreement also included important human rights provisions, such as the respect by the parties of Libya’s treaty obligations and relevant Security Council resolutions, the commitment to end impunity and to prosecute murder, torture and other crimes under international law, and the commitment to reject the incitement to hatred and to combat terrorism while adhering to the highest international human rights standards. The Agreement included a number of specific provisions dealing with detainees, missing persons and internally displaced persons.
The process of transitional justice was to resume in line with Libyan law and international standards, and the Board of the Fact Finding and Reconciliation Commission should be appointed within 90 days of the entry into force of the Agreement. There would be no prosecution of any individuals solely for fighting adversaries during the conflict, but this guarantee did not apply to anyone who might have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity or other crimes under international law. In terms of the progress achieved on the return of the 40,000 persons displaced from the town of Tawergha which had been attacked by armed groups from Misrata, Mr. Cordoni said that representatives of both parties had agreed to a series of confidence-building measures, including the setting up of a Joint Committee to develop the roadmap towards the returns. The first meeting of this Committee had taken place in Tunis from 9 to 11 September, in which the issue of victims and reparations had been prioritized. Further, prison visits had taken place, a number of Tawerghan detainees had been released from detention centres in Misrata, and civil record held in Misrata had been recently handed over to the Tawerghan community. It was hoped that other communities would follow this example and work towards addressing the legacy of abuses and displacement across Libya.
Statement by the Concerned Country
Libya, speaking as the concerned country, stated that the Libyan people were in an extremely difficult situation, due to violent crimes committed by armed groups against the civilian population and infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of people had been affected by the violence and daily confrontation with terrorism was taking place in Benghazi. Human rights activists had to condemn the support given to ISIL in Benghazi, which kidnapped journalists and human rights defenders. Human traffickers and smugglers were also operating in the country. It had thus become urgent for the international community to take responsibility for what had been happening in Libya. Wrong calculations and support for certain factions in the country had led to immense destruction and increased terrorist activity. Improving the human rights situation, the rule of law and humanitarian assistance could not be achieved unless Libya received international aid and technical assistance. At the same time, Libyan authorities aimed to improve the human rights situation in the country through active participation in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.
Interactive Dialogue on the Oral Update of the High Commissioner on Libya
Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, appealed to the international community to assist Libya in taking up its humanitarian and security challenges, including combatting Daesh and other extremist groups, and strengthening institutions, border security and the fight against organized criminal groups involved in trafficking of migrants and medicines. European Union said that those responsible for violence and those who obstructed or undermined Libya’s democratic transition must face consequences for their actions, and stressed the need to strengthen domestic and international accountability mechanisms to investigate those crimes. The European Union reiterated its support for the International Criminal Court to end impunity and called for cooperation from all relevant actors in Libya. Turkey said that the initialling of the Libyan Political Agreement in July 2015 was a great achievement and said that at this critical junction, this Agreement should be concluded without further delay, as reconciliation would be possible only as the result of a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned inclusive dialogue. Norway urged the opposing camps in Libya to end fighting and support the text proposed by the United Nations Special Representative, and was concerned that politically motivated killings of security officers, judges, activists and journalists had not been investigated and had gone unpunished. The migration crisis and the use of Libya as a transit country only compounded the challenges faced by the Government.
Sovereign Military Order of Malta deplored the ongoing violence and requested the cessation of all hostilities in the country. Those acts constituted a threat not only to the stability of Libya but also to the stability of the region and the European Union. The international community had to sustain its endeavours to continue to be proactive with Libya and its authorities. United Arab Emirates stated that Libya had started an ambitious programme with the Office of the High Commissioner in order to establish credible institutions of law. It expressed deep concern over the escalation of the political crisis and the spread of terrorism, calling upon the international community to increase its efforts to face violent extremism and to stand by the Libyan people. France expressed hope that the Commission of Inquiry would be able to establish facts and circumstances in order to bring about accountability. The international community should fully support the Libyan people in their efforts to establish a democratic country. Portugal remained gravely concerned by the loss of life caused by the conflict in Libya. To ensure accountability and put an end to impunity, it was urgent to strengthen domestic and international mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court.
Germany remained concerned about the situation in detention facilities, and called on all armed groups to hand over the prisons they controlled to the Libyan State. It called on the Libyan authorities to protect the rights of migrants and refugees, including providing them with humanitarian relief, preventing any form of ill-treatment against them and granting detained migrants access to legal support. Estonia encouraged the parties to reach an agreement on the creation of a Government of National Accord, and remained concerned at continuing violence resulting in civilian deaths and mass displacement. It called on all parties to respond to the demands of the Libyan people and cease hostilities, and protect civilians, particularly vulnerable groups, including children, women and displaced persons.
United Nations Children’s Fund said Libya ran the risk of losing an entire generation of children. Children in Libya were in a dire situation, and their access to health services and education had been greatly impeded. They had an increased risk of facing sexual and gender-based violence. A significant number of children were among the displaced, and many were unaccompanied. Netherlands stressed its concerns about indiscriminate violence and the rise of armed groups leading to human rights violations. It fully supported efforts to agree on a Government of National Accord. It expressed concerns about the death sentences delivered against former Gadhafi regime officials, and stressed its opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances. It emphasized the need for justice and accountability for those responsible for war crimes.
United States was concerned that the lack of security and accountability for perpetrators of politically motivated violence against human rights defenders, journalists and would-be government officials had left a vacuum of strong voices that needed to challenge impunity and ensure an inclusive democratic future in Libya. United Kingdom called on all sides to immediately stop arbitrary detention, abductions, torture, and extra-judicial executions. While the political crisis and conflict continued, the threat from terrorism had grown and the instability had also allowed criminal gangs to profit from the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. Spain said that the Libyan political crisis could only have a political solution and the increase in the number of internally displaced persons had additionally increased the existing humanitarian needs. In order to fight impunity, national institutions must be strengthened, in particular the judiciary and the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights. Australia was gravely concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Libya and the impact it had on its people and neighbours, and stressed that prospects at peace and stability would not be realized while the human rights situation remained serious.
China stated that any settlement of the Libyan crisis had to respect the will and choice of the Libyan people. Libyan sovereignty and territorial integrity had to be preserved. The fundamental solution lay in political dialogue, greater good will and flexibility. Finally, any settlement had to address both symptoms and causes of the crisis. Algeria stated that Libya had been going through a very difficult period, marked by the expansion of violence and terrorism that impeded the consolidation of democratic institutions and national reconciliation. The Libyan crisis was an internal matter that required a solution by Libyans themselves. Czech Republic called on the Government of Libya to increase its efforts to end impunity and to continue its cooperation with the International Criminal Court. It underscored the importance of full and equal participation in the United Nations political dialogue by all parts of Libyan society. Russian Federation underscored that the promises made by some Western countries for improved human rights in Libya had not materialized. Thousands of migrants risked their lives in an attempt to reach Europe, and Libya was turning into a magnet for terrorists. Terrorism intermingled with organized crime was the result of yet another adventurous attempt to replace the regime.
Angola noted the challenges that Libya currently faced, and encouraged it to strengthen efforts to combat extremism and terrorism by armed groups. A return to peace, stability and security was essential to create an environment in which human rights could be protected. Italy appealed to all parties to work towards the creation of a unity government, which would be crucial to improve the human rights situation in Libya. Italy reiterated its full support to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. Kuwait was deeply concerned at acts of violence by armed groups and supported the political process under the Secretary-General. It called on the international community to continue supporting Libya’s efforts in the field of human rights and despite current challenges. Yemen reiterated the need for Libya to cooperate with the international community to address the challenges it faced and restore the rule of law, national security and address migration.
Senegal said that the prevailing situation in Libya, the country with the largest oil reserves in the African continent, remained precarious and worrying, while in the absence of a sovereign power, the territory had become a haven for several armed groups and international terrorist networks. Egypt commended the efforts to reach a political settlement, and peace and prosperity in Libya, and stressed that human rights could only be guaranteed through strengthening national institutions. The international community should assist in this process to enable the country to face all its challenges. Ghana said that any United Nations led process for peace in Libya should take into account the contributions by the African Union and the Arab League. Ghana supported the call to bring the perpetrators of crimes before the International Criminal Court, as a way to deal with impunity and avoid repetition of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies stressed the crucial importance of ending impunity for serious violations and of strengthening security institutions in Libya in order to address the instability and conflict, and end the cycle of violence. Human Rights Watch stated that human rights conditions in Libya had regressed sharply, with armed groups attacking civilians and civilian property. The Libyan authorities had failed to investigate or prosecute those responsible for these grave violations. Libya’s institutions, particularly its judiciary, were in a state of near collapse and many courts had suspended their activities due to the targeting of judges and prosecutors. Arab Commission for Human Rights expressed concern over the activities of armed groups in Libya and the recruitment of combatants, which represented a threat for the neighbouring countries, in particular Tunisia. It urged the international community to support the national dialogue and outcome for the discussions held in Morocco in July 2015. Amnesty International noted that violations and abuses were perpetrated by all parties in Libya, regardless of whether they were affiliated with the self-proclaimed government in Tripoli, the internationally recognized government in Tobruk, or those pursuing their own agenda, such as the Islamic State. The Libyan criminal justice system was unable to carry out meaningful investigations. Accordingly, the Council should call on the International Criminal Court to undertake those investigations. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom called for reforms of the justice sector in Libya, and the engagement and protection of civil society in the peace process. It called for the investigation and prosecution of cases of assassination of human rights defenders, and emphasised full support to efforts by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to promote dialogue and negotiations among parties, and supported the investigation efforts by the United Nations.
IVAN ŠIMONOVIĆ, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, in concluding remarks, said the participation of women in the peace process was important, and noted that Libya was a State party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. To use the full potential of this international instrument would require international capacity building and assistance. The investigative team consisted of nine persons, including five women. The Council had given a mandate to the United Nations in Libya to undertake investigations and fact-finding missions with a view to promote accountability. Human rights defenders were both partners and objects of the protection of the United Nations. The situation of the blocked Russian crew was being monitored by the United Nations.
CLAUDIO CORDONI, Director of the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division, United Nations Support Mission in Libya, thanked all those countries which supported the peace process in Libya, and said that there was no alternative to a political compromise and political solution. Unfortunately, there were still parties which thought they could achieve a military victory, with external support. It was important to continue with the United Nations mediation efforts because there was no alternative to a political solution. Within the Political Agreement, the importance of accountability was crucial, both in dealing with past crimes and in terms of preventing future crimes. As soon as it became feasible, the United Nations Mission and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights would support the rebuilding of the Libyan judicial system which was in a dire situation at the moment. The participation of women was an issue raised by several speakers, and the Political Agreement stated that the Government of National Accord would give due consideration to equal representation of women and youth. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya ensured participation of women and members of civil society in the process of shaping the future of Libya. Four of the six staff of the Monitoring Unit of the Human Rights Division were women, some of whom had direct experience in sexual violence and violence against women.
For use of the information media; not an official record
On Wednesday 24 September, clashes were reported between FARDC and ADF in Mayangose, an agglomeration located in the Virunga park, roughly 20 Kilometers away from North-East of the city of Beni. According to the interim Spokesperson of the Sokola 1 operations, Lieutenant Mak Hazukay, FARDC elite units has been conducting search and comb operations in the area, with a view to flushing out the rebels.
The clashes started at around 15 hours. According to the local sources, several gunshots with heavy and automatic weapons were heard in the zone. The sources indicate that sporadic shootings continued till late evening in Mayangose.
Lieutenant Mak Hazukay speaks of a clash with the ADF rebel group that ambushed a vehicle, on Monday 21 September, in Kokola.
“What happened exactly in Mayangose: Since Monday 21 September, as you are aware, the enemy set an ambush at Kokola. Immediately after being alerted, FARDC intervened and carried out ongoing search and comb operations in the area. Yesterday, there was a clash with the enemy. The elite units are currently conducting search and comb operations on the ground”, he explained.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: RDC: nouveau braquage après l'attaque mortelle d'un convoi de fonds
Kinshasa, RD Congo | AFP | mardi 29/09/2015 - 16:03 GMT
Des malfaiteurs ont mis la main mardi sur plus de 40.000 dollars lors d'un braquage dans le sud-est de la République démocratique du Congo au surlendemain d'une attaque contre un convoi de fonds ayant fait 13 morts dans l'est du pays, a-t-on appris de sources bancaires et policières.
Quatre hommes, dont au moins deux équipés d'armes automatiques, se sont emparés d'une malle métallique remplie de billets au moment où celle-ci était livrée à une agence de la Trust Merchant Bank (TMB) dans le centre de Lubumbashi, capitale du Katanga, ont indiqué à l'AFP des témoins et des policiers chargés de l'enquête.
L'attaque a eu lieu peu après l'ouverture de l'agence, entre 08h00 et 09h00 locales (06h00 et 07h00 GMT). Après avoir tiré quelques coups de feu en l'air, les assaillants se sont enfuis avec leur butin à bord d'une voiture sans être inquiétés.
Selon des sources bancaires, la malle emportée par les malfaiteurs contenait entre 40.000 et 44.000 dollars, essentiellement en coupures américaines.
Dimanche après-midi, 13 personnes - 11 soldats et 2 civils - ont été tués dans l'attaque d'un convoi de fonds de la TMB chargé de distribuer la paye des fonctionnaires à Lemera, dans une zone reculée du Sud-Kivu, province de l'est de le RDC déstabilisée depuis plus de vingt ans par les conflits armés.
La TMB a qualifié l'attaque du convoi d'"acte de barbarie" et d'"événement tragique et sans précédent (...) dans le secteur bancaire en général et particulièrement dans le contexte de la paie des fonctionnaires".
Dans un communiqué publié mardi matin dans la presse congolaise, l'Association congolaise des banques (ACB) a dénoncé "cette énième attaque de convoi" et appelé les autorités à "mener une guerre sans merci contre (un) banditisme et (une) barbarie qui gagnent en importance".
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
A total of 14,464 Burundian refugees have been received in Uganda since the onset of the influx, including 10,907 in Nakivale; 156 in Orukinga; 232 in Kyaka II, 3,074 in Kampala; and 95 in Kisoro. The period 18-24 September saw a total of 74 new Burundian refugees seeking protection in the country (up from last week’s 27), with a daily arrival of 11 individuals. Slightly over half (38) of the refugees, who were transported from Mirama Hills, Kisenyi Police Post Kagiturnba and Kikagate border points were children. The new arrivals are citing insecurity in Burundi as their reason for fleeing.
A total of 921 individuals are residing at Kabazana Reception Centre, including 479 Burundians, 389 Congolese, 50 Rwandese, and 03 Eritreans. The centre can accommodate up to 1,500 individuals.
Bangui, Central African Republic | AFP | Tuesday 9/29/2015 - 10:26 GMT
by Christian PANIKA
The streets of the capital of the Central African Republic were deserted Tuesday with terrified residents sheltering indoors and tens of thousands fleeing their homes after three days of shooting and bloodshed.
"We fear that the violence we're seeing in Bangui is a return to the dark days of late 2013 and 2014, when thousands were killed and tens of thousands had to flee their homes," UN refugee agency spokesman Leo Dobbs told reporters.
At least 36 people died in the last three days and 27,400 fled their homes, the United Nations said.
Gunfire was heard in the afternoon in the Combattant neighbourhood next to Bangui's international airport, where some 20,000 people have taken refuge near French and UN military bases.
Announcing she was cutting short a visit to UN headquarters in New York, the country's interim president Catherine Samba Panza said in a message broadcast on national radio: "I appeal to you my compatriots for calm. I ask you to return to your homes."
Sources close to the presidency told AFP she was expected back in Bangui late Tuesday.
In Geneva, the UNHCR's Dobbs said 10,000 of those who fled had taken refuge at the airport, which had already been hosting around 11,000 people.
"There is great difficulty getting to the airport. There are barricades in the streets and there was shooting going on this morning," he said. "The displaced people are reported to be in a state of shock."
'Anti-balaka fighters gather'
Residents said members of the feared "anti-balaka" (anti-machete) Christian militia, which sprung up in 2013 to defend against mainly Muslim Seleka fighters, had begun gathering in Bangui on Monday.
"Groups of them, armed with machetes, have taken up positions in the streets of the 8th and 5th districts," one of the few residents to venture out into the streets told AFP.
The fighters were positioned near the city's PK-5 shopping area, the last bastion of Muslims hounded out of other areas by the Christian militia.
The latest escalation in two years of unrest began in PK-5 when a young Muslim motorcycle-taxi driver was murdered at the weekend, angering Muslims who used grenades and guns in counter-attacks on Christians in nearby districts.
Around 100 people were wounded in the bloodshed, prompting the government to impose a curfew on the capital.
The PK-5 area was the epicentre of an unprecedented wave of violence pitting majority Christians against minority Muslims in late 2013 and early last year.
DR Congo closes the border
Fears of a sudden refugee influx saw the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo announce the immediate closure of its northern border with the landlocked former French colony.
One in 10 Central Africans -- 460,000 people -- have sought refuge outside the country, mainly in Cameroon, Chad, DR Congo and Congo, since the start of the conflict.
In Bangui, terrified residents fled to camps by the airport, where French and UN peacekeepers from the MINUSCA force are based.
MINUSCA denied reports that its troops on Monday killed three people and injured others after opening fire on a crowd of several hundred demonstrators heading towards the presidency to demand Samba Panza's resignation.
But it pledged to look into the allegations. The 10,000-strong peacekeeping force is already facing damaging accusations of sex abuse, while French troops, numbering around 1,000, face separate sex abuse allegations.
500 prisoners escape
UN spokesman Rupert Colville said in Geneva that some 500 prisoners had escaped from Bangui's main prison overnight, adding to the climate of insecurity.
"This is a huge setback for the preservation of law and order, and for the fight against impunity, which has been and remains a chronic problem in CAR," he told reporters.
Overnight, shooting erupted as security forces tried to stop looters from attacking the premises of several humanitarian organisations, which had been evacuated for security reasons, a military source told AFP.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was "alarmed by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Bangui" and had not been able to work in the capital since Sunday.
The UN's humanitarian coordinator in the country, Aurelien Agbenonci, strongly condemned attacks against the aid organisations, adding: "All perpetrators of crimes against humanitarians will be held accountable."
Looters targeted the offices of the UN World Food Programme, French medical NGO Premiere Urgence and the Dutch NGO Cordaid, police said, indicating that they had repelled them in several places.
The Central African Republic descended into bloodshed more than two years ago after longtime president Francois Bozize, a Christian, was ousted by Seleka rebels, triggering the worst crisis since independence in 1960.
Though the tit-for-tat sectarian attacks have subsided significantly since last year, Bangui is still plagued by violent crime, fuelled in part by easy access to weapons left over from the conflict.
Presidential and legislative elections are due by the end of the year, but have already been pushed back several times.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
Central African Republic: Le procès Bemba, Kilolo et al. s’ouvre devant la Cour pénale internationale
Situation : République centrafricaine
Affaire : Le Procureur c. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu et Narcisse Arido
Le 29 septembre 2015, le procès dans l'affaire Le Procureur c. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu et Narcisse Arido s'est ouvert devant la Chambre de première instance VII de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) à La Haye, Pays-Bas. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu et Narcisse Arido sont accusés d'atteintes à l'administration de la justice en rapport avec des témoignages dans le cadre de l'affaire Le Procureur c. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.
L'ouverture du procès a débuté par la lecture des charges. M. le juge président Bertram Schmitt s'est assuré que les accusés ont compris la nature des charges à leur encontre. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu et Narcisse Arido ont plaidé non coupable. Le Procureur de la Cour, Mme Fatou Bensouda, et le premier substitut du Procureur, M. Kweku Vanderpuye, ont ensuite pris la parole pour des déclarations liminaires.
Les audiences reprendront demain avec la présentation des éléments de preuve de l'Accusation. Les déclarations liminaires de la Défense seront faites au début de la présentation des preuves de la Défense.
On s'attend à ce que le procès dure plusieurs mois. Durant la première partie du procès, le Bureau du Procureur présentera l'ensemble des moyens de preuve dont il dispose. Dès que l'Accusation aura terminé sa présentation, il reviendra aux accusés, avec le concours de leurs Conseils, de présenter leur Défense.
Le procès se tient devant la Chambre de première instance VII, qui est composée du juge président Bertram Schmitt, du juge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut et du juge Raul Pangalangan. Les juges veilleront à ce que le procès soit conduit de façon équitable et avec diligence, dans le plein respect des droits de la défense, de l'égalité des armes et du principe du contradictoire, ainsi qu'en tenant dûment compte de la nécessité d'assurer la protection des victimes et des témoins.
Contexte : Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu et Narcisse Arido auraient commis des atteintes à l'administration de la justice entre la fin de 2011 et le 14 novembre 2013, et notamment la subornation de témoins, pour leur avoir donné de l'argent et des instructions afin qu'ils produisent de faux témoignages ainsi que la production d'éléments de preuve faux ou falsifiés et la présentation de faux témoignages dans la salle d'audience. Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu et Narcisse Arido comparaissent volontairement devant la Cour puisque qu'ils ont été mis en liberté provisoire le 21 octobre 2014. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo est en détention au quartier pénitentiaire de la CPI.
Photographies de l'audience
YouTube (pour visionnage) : partie 1, partie 2 Vidéo (MPEG-4) pour téléchargement : partie 1, partie 2 Audio (MPEG-3) pour téléchargement : partie 1, partie 2 Pour plus d'informations sur le procès sont disponibles sur cette page.
Pour toute information complémentaire, veuillez contacter Fadi El Abdallah, Porte-parole et Chef de l'Unité des affaires publiques, Cour pénale internationale, au +31 (0)70 515-9152 ou +31 (0)6 46448938 ou à l'adresse firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since March, approximately 200,000 people have fled pre-election violence in Burundi, heading to neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Of the 77,000 who have crossed into Rwanda, most are staying at the permanent refugee camp of Mahama in Kirehe district, or at the transit camps in Bugesera and Nyanza districts, where they receive much needed support. However, an estimated 20,000 Burundian refugees decided to move to the urban areas, particularly the capital, Kigali, and the Southern Province town of Huye, where support, at first, was more adhoc. That, however, is changing.
“We are working on a way to help the refugees living in town,” said Apollinaire Karamaga, Secretary General, Rwandan Red Cross. “Some came thinking the crisis would last a short while and that they would return home. They have now run out of basic requirements such as food and shelter.”
With the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and other donor agencies, Rwandan Red Cross staff and volunteers have been providing aid to the refugees since they began crossing the border, registering new arrivals at different entry points, at the transit camps, and the permanent camp.
“We were the first organization to respond to the needs of refugees during their early influx into Rwanda. Our volunteers and staff provided drinking water, energy biscuits, and first aid to the sick, and evacuated those in poor health conditions to hospitals,” said Karamaga.
Half a year later, they continue to meet the needs of the refugee population, offering psychosocial support, delivering household supplies, and helping separated family members contact their loved ones.
Ndahiro Evelyn, 30, arrived with her family and settled at the camp in Mahama. Heavily pregnant and with darkness descending, Ndahiro began experiencing labour pains. With her husband away, she was not sure who to call and chose to keep to herself in their small tent.
The pains intensified and she was struggling to deliver when a neighbour heard her almost silent groans and called Rwandan Red Cross volunteers who were nearby, conducting an awareness raising session on the prevention against cholera.
Among the group of volunteers was a medical nurse (midwife) who immediately went to work and delivered Ndahiro’s son without any complications. Two days later, the volunteers and staff returned bearing clothes and other items for the child and mother.
“Sometimes one experiences unexpected happiness. That is what is happening to me. I never expected any moment of happiness. Thank you Red Cross,” Ndahiro enthused as neighbours looked on.
While a lot has been done to help the refugees, the gap to be filled remains enormous. Many of the Burundians have psychological scars and trauma from their journeys. The stories they tell are of the mistrust that accumulated as a result of the unrest in their homeland. Key reminders that, in addition to the material support, children and adults alike are emotionally wounded and require continued psychosocial support.
The IFRC is supporting the Rwandan Red Cross through an Emergency Appeal which is seeking almost 550,000 Swiss francs to deliver assistance to 10,000 people, including host communities. The focus is on emergency heath (first aid, psychosocial support, and violence prevention), water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, shelter and settlements, food security, nutrition and livelihoods, with a component of disaster preparedness and risk reduction.
As of 24 September, the funding gap of the coordinated appeals framework is $11.7 billion, meaning that almost 60 per cent is not covered. In total, $19.8 billion are required for 2015. $8.1 billion have been received which includes $1.5 billion newly reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) in September.
Despite the generosity of donors, the needs still significantly exceed the total received. The highest amount of funding received is for the Syria crisis which has received $3 billion of the total required investment of $7.4 billion. Coverage therefore is only 41 per cent with a shortfall of $4.4 billion.
Requirements for the Syria crisis represent 37 per cent of the UN-coordinated inter-agency humanitarian appeals, and together with other L3 emergencies (Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen) represent 60 per cent of the funding received this year towards the appeals. 82 million people in 37 countries are targeted for assistance through the UN-coordinated inter-agency appeals.
Some revisions took place over the last month. Due to the recent floods, the Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requirement has increased from $189.5 million to $265 million. It is currently 37 per cent funded. The Afghanistan HRP has been revised from $405.3 million to $416.7 million (currently 48 per cent funded) based on the protracted nature of the refugee response in Khost and Paktika provinces as indicated in the mid-year update of the plan.
Recorded funding for the Yemen HRP increased by 26 per cent over the last month ($416.6 million newly reported), meaning that requirements are now 44 per cent covered. Recorded funding of the Mauritania HRP increased by 14 per cent ($13.5 million newly reported) making it 48 per cent funded.
As reported to FTS, there are $1.78 billion outstanding pledges of which $392 million are potentially earmarked for the UN-coordinated inter-agency appeals. Donors are strongly encouraged to report, check, and coordinate with FTS to ensure contributions are accurately and swiftly reflected.
The total humanitarian funding received inside and outside the humanitarian coordinated appeals stands at $13.4 billion.
World: Pampers and UNICEF celebrate a decade together helping to save the lives of millions of children and mothers
NEW YORK, 28 September 2015 - An estimated 500,000 newborn lives have been saved and 100 million women and their newborns protected from the deadly disease, maternal and newborn tetanus, thanks to a ten-year long partnership between Pampers® and UNICEF that helped achieve this milestone.
The partners marked the tenth anniversary of their work today by celebrating the contributions of their joint effort that has helped in the elimination of maternal and newborn tetanus in 17 countries, with the success of the ‘1 Pack = 1 Vaccine’ initiative.
Celebrity mother, UNICEF Ambassador and long-standing spokesperson for the 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine campaign, Emma Bunton, united with Pampers and UNICEF during a global summit in New York to celebrate the progress for mothers and babies as a result of the partnership. At the event, Emma reflected on the decade-long initiative and invited everyone to mark the 10th anniversary by resolving to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus entirely.
“Working with the people who have been instrumental in the success of this partnership, and meeting some of the mothers and babies who have enjoyed better, healthier lives as a result of the initiative has been an unforgettable experience”, said Emma Bunton. “I visited Madagascar to see the impact that Pampers’ funding has had on the lives of people and hearing their stories helped me see that with the support mums at home, we can stop this heart-breaking disease in more countries.”
“I am so proud that the 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine campaign has had a role in this progress, and I invite everyone who engaged in the campaign to stop, take one small minute and reflect on those mothers and children who are alive today, thanks to a simple vaccine. And let’s resolve, all of us, to keep up the good work,” she added.
The 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine campaign has combined two components that are essential to defeating a disease like maternal and newborn tetanus: Raising funds, and raising profile.
“The partnership between Pampers and UNICEF has resulted in much greater awareness of maternal and newborn tetanus and made a genuine difference in the lives of millions,” said Yoka Brandt, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. “It will take even more commitment and investment, but we can and must accelerate elimination efforts in the remaining 21 countries where the key challenge remains universal access to life saving interventions, including maternal and newborn tetanus vaccines.”
The event also saw an informative panel-discussion between the organisations, led by Dr Holly Phillips, CBS Medical News Contributor where representatives talked about the importance of support from around the world, through the campaign that has enabled one mother to support another.
In addition, Pampers and UNICEF unveiled a powerful video to showcase the impact of the campaign through 10 milestone moments; DOWNLOAD HERE: http://we.tl/YVAVXo2iGK
Although much has already been achieved, there is more work to be done, as maternal and newborn tetanus still threatens the lives of 71 million women and their newborns.
“Thanks to the collective power of UNICEF, Pampers and mums around the world, this funding has already helped to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus in 17 countries, which is incredible”, says Sirma Umur, Pampers VP babycare E-IMEA. “However we are not stopping there, we continue to partner with UNICEF to help protect the world’s babies against this deadly disease and invite everyone to join us in our 10th anniversary wish to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus entirely.”
Notes to editors:
Tetanus is caused by bacteria that live in soil. Newborns are often infected as a result of unhygienic birth practices, such as cutting the umbilical cord with un-sterile instruments or handling it with dirty hands. Once contracted, there is no real cure. Nearly all babies who contract tetanus die, unless they receive treatment.
The true extent of the maternal and newborn tetanus death toll is not fully known, since the population at the highest risk of contracting the disease tends to live in rural areas with little or no access to health care services or education.
Maternal and neonatal tetanus can be prevented through a simple vaccination given to pregnant women and women of a child-bearing age, to protect both the woman and her unborn child during this vulnerable period. Following administration of the tetanus vaccine to a pregnant mother, the antibodies pass across the placenta to her foetus.
World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF recommend three appropriately spaced doses of the tetanus vaccine in order to ensure long-lasting immunity. After two doses, a woman who is vaccinated before she gives birth will be protected against the disease for three years.
After three doses she will be protected for five years, and in both cases, will share her protection with her baby for the first two months of life
Since the Pampers-UNICEF partnership began in 2006, Pampers funding has already helped to eliminate MNT in 17 countries:
◾Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Lao PDR, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Myanmar, Senegal, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Sierra Leone and Uganda
Pampers funding is also supporting vaccination activities in a further 20 countries
◾Afghanistan, Angola, CAR, Chad, DRC, Ethiopia, Guinea Conakry, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Sudan, Republic of South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen
Pampers® cares for the development of every baby around the world and continuously works in partnerships with NGOs, charity organizations, hospitals and healthcare professionals to help make a difference. Some of the many initiatives which demonstrate Pampers® ongoing commitment to vulnerable and disadvantaged babies around the world include education programmes for mothers and mothers-to-be, training schemes for physicians and nurses, and the donation of equipment for maternity wards and orphanages. Visit for more information: www.Pampers.co.uk/UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org/
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
For more information, please contact: Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York, + 1 917 378 2128, email@example.com
Democratic Republic of the Congo: RD Congo - Province du Nord-Kivu : Personnes déplacées et retournées au 25 Août 2015
La Province du Nord-Kivu compte un effectif estimé à 624 277 personnes déplacées internes au 25 Août 2015. Cette estimation ne contient pas les données de mouvements de population signalées au niveau des alertes humanitaires qui devraient faire l’objet de vérification et d’évaluation pour une éventuelle intégration.
Environ 55 000 personnes seraient concernées par ces alertes. Près de 4 183 personnes nouvellement déplacées ont été enregistrées dans les territoires de Lubero,
Masisi et Rutshuru.
Central African Republic: Le HCR et le PAM lancent un programme d’assistance alimentaire pour les réfugiés congolais à Zémio
BANGUI - Quelque 2 650 réfugiés congolais ont reçu depuis samedi 19 septembre des bons d’achat alimentaire leur permettant de s’approvisionner sur le marché local à Zémio dans la préfecture du Haut Mbomou, dans le cadre d’une foire organisée avec les commerçants sélectionnés et certifiés par l’équipe du projet. Cette activité rentre dans le cadre d’un partenariat entre le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) et le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM).
« C’est avec un grand soulagement que nous accueillons cette distribution et cette foire », affirme Gisèle, mère de trois enfants, et chef de ménage. « J’ai choisi les différents aliments selon les préférences alimentaires de mes enfants. Leur santé, leur bien-être, c’est ce qui m’est le plus cher au monde ».
La nouvelle modalité d’assistance alimentaire se rapproche de la vie ordinaire de tout un chacun. Elle redonne aux réfugiés un sentiment de normalité. Durant les 4 jours de foire, les réfugiés sont passés d’un stand à un autre et ont acheté avec leurs bons ce qu’ils voulaient parmi les aliments suivants : manioc, riz, haricots, arachides, viande, poisson, tomates en conserves, lait en poudre, huile, sucre et condiments. Chaque individu reçoit un coupon qui vaut 5 000 XAF (soit 7,50€ environ). Par exemple, un chef de famille dont la famille est composée de 4 membres reçoit 4 coupons pour un montant total de 20 000 XAF (soit 30€ environ).
« Acheminer des vivres jusqu’à Zemio pose d’énormes défis logistiques à cause de l’état des routes entre Bambari et Zemio. Ce nouveau système d’assistance alimentaire permet d’éliminer les problèmes liés au transport des vivres, de soutenir l’économie locale et de donner aux réfugiés la possibilité de choisir le type d’aliments et les quantités qu’ils souhaitent », a déclaré Bienvenu Djossa, le Directeur du PAM en Centrafrique.
Suite à une évaluation des capacités d’approvisionnement en vivres des commerçants de Zémio, 13 d’entre eux ont été identifiés pour faire partie de cette initiative qui vient soutenir l’économie locale. Ces commerçants ont été choisis sur la base de leur capacité d’autofinancement, leur lieu de vente ainsi que l’existence d’une source d’approvisionnement des denrées afin d’éviter toute rupture de stocks. Les commerçants ont également reçu une formation sur les modalités de cette nouvelle initiative.
L’insécurité qui sévit dans la zone limite les produits disponibles sur le marché mais on y trouve néanmoins des denrées qui correspondent aux préférences alimentaires exprimées par les réfugiés. Cela s’explique par le fait que les commerçants ont encore la possibilité de s’approvisionner dans les localités environnantes mais aussi dans les pays frontaliers à la préfecture du Haut Mbomou comme le Soudan et l’Ouganda.
« Suite à plusieurs mois d’interruption dus à l’insécurité et des défis logistiques, l’assistance alimentaire reprend à Zemio sous la forme de bons d’achat et de foire alimentaire. Celle-ci va permettre aux réfugiés de renforcer leur sécurité alimentaire et de créer des occasions d’échange et de rencontre avec les membres de la communauté locale, renforçant ainsi l’intégration socio-économique et le vivre-ensemble », explique Jean-Bosco Ngomoni, chef du bureau du HCR à Zémio.
Ces réfugiés congolais avaient fui les violences de la LRA en 2009 et trouvé refuge à Zemio. En 2010, le gouvernement centrafricain leur a octroyé des parcelles de terre afin de les encourager à développer des activités agricoles. Cependant, l’activisme persistant de la LRA dans la zone freine les activités agricoles et maraichères des réfugiés qui ne peuvent toujours pas subvenir à tous leurs besoins essentiels.
L’activisme de la LRA dans la zone frontalière entre la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) et la RCA est toujours d’actualité. De nouvelles attaques au chantier minier de Mabia dans le Bas-Uele en RDC, à une quinzaine de kilomètres de la frontière centrafricaine, ont récemment entraîné la fuite de près de 80 Congolais qui sont arrivés la semaine dernière à Rafai, à 150 km de Zemio.
Le HCR et ses partenaires assurent la réponse aux besoins essentiels des réfugiés congolais notamment en facilitant l’accès à l’eau potable et en fournissant des services de santé et d’éducation. Une assistance particulière est également fournie aux personnes vulnérables, notamment aux personnes âgées, et les enfants orphelins ou séparés sont accueillis dans des familles.#
Suivez le PAM sur Twitter : @wfp_media, @WFP_WAfrica
Suivez le UNHCR sur Twitter : @refugees, @Le_HCR, @UNHCRWestAfrica
Pour plus d’informations, merci de contacter :
Dalia Alachi UNHCR/Bangui, Mobile +236 7267 5186, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sayaka Sato, WFP/Bangui, Mobile +236 72 18 76 97, email@example.com
Adel Sarkozi, WFP/Dakar, Mobile + 221 77 637 5964, firstname.lastname@example.org
Democratic Republic of the Congo: J’ai pratiqué la capoeira lors de la visite de la délégation brésilienne à Goma
posté le Septembre 28, 2015 par Jospin
Le dimanche 30 août 2015, Son Excellence Mauro VIEIRA, Ministre des relations extérieures du Brésil accompagné de Son Excellence Paulo Uchoa, Ambassadeur du Brésil en RDC, d’une équipe de l’UNICEF ainsi que de trois Enfants Reporters de Goma, a visité le centre de transit et d’orientation des enfants sortis des forces et groupes armés (CAJED) à Goma afin de voir et comprendre la vie des enfants, mais aussi de constater l’impact de la capoeira sur la vie des enfants en transit.
SE Mauro et sa délégation ont assisté à une démonstration de capoeira par les enfants précédemment associés aux forces et groupes armés et ont échangé avec les responsables du centre CAJED.
Le projet Capoeira Pour la Paix a été lancé à Goma en août 2014, financé par le gouvernement Brésilien et l’Association Mondiale des Amis de l’Enfance (AMADE). La capoeira est combinée à d’autres approches telles que la prise en charge psychosociale pour donner une alternative d’activités expressives aux enfants.
La Capoeira unit les gens et apporte le sourire
Emportés par la danse, mes collègues Enfants Reporters et moi n’avons pas hésité à sauter sur la piste afin de pratiquer la capoeira avec les autres enfants.
Personnellement, j’étais heureux et j’ai senti un lien fort entre nous. En effet, la capoeira va bien au-delà d’être une danse, une discipline ; c’est comme un lien qui unit les gens, un moyen d’enlever les stress et d’apporter le sourire.
J’ai eu l’occasion de demander, au cours d’un point de presse, à SE Mauro quel était l’apport de sa visite dans la protection des enfants de la RDC. Le Ministre des Relations extérieures du Brésil m’a répondu : « Le Brésil est partenaire associé au projet Capoeira. Nous allons continuer à donner notre contribution parce que c’est un projet très bien réussi. Nous voulons participer activement à ce projet, et nous comptons sur l’appui de l’UNICEF et peut-être celui d’autres pays. »
Après le point de presse, SE Mauro s’est entretenu avec un enfant sorti des forces et groupes armés en transit au Centre CAJED afin de s’imprégner de la situation qu’ont vécue ces enfants.
Aujourd’hui, 800 enfants bénéficient du projet Capoeira grâce à des cours bihebdomadaires au centre de transit CAJED, à l’école CAJED et au centre jour de PAMI (Programme d’Appui et de Lutte contre la Misère). D’après une étude de perception menée récemment, 68% des enfants se sentent davantage libres d’exprimer leurs besoins et sentiments et 80% considèrent que la capoeira est un bon outil pour aider et gérer leur sentiment de tristesse.
Mes amis Enfants Reporters et moi avons profité de cette visite pour échanger avec un ami sorti des forces et groupes armés. Il nous a relaté sa vie et nous a avoué que le centre CAJED a changé sa vie pour faciliter sa réinsertion dans la société. Il nous a aussi témoigné combien c’est important pour lui de pratiquer la Capoeira :
« J’ai 17 ans, je suis dans ce centre depuis 4 mois. Avant d’être ici, j’ai été dans l’armée où j’ai passé une vie pénible. Là-bas, je devais voler pour satisfaire mes besoins alors qu’ici, j’ai presque tout. La capoeira pour moi c’est un outil très efficace qui m’unit avec les autres enfants de ce centre et me permet d’oublier les moments difficiles que j’ai traversés. Je suis très heureux de pratiquer cette discipline. »
Nous remercions le gouvernement Brésilien pour son soutien à l’UNICEF en faveur de la protection des enfants de notre pays. En même temps, nous appelons le gouvernement congolais à renforcer les mécanismes pour lutter contre l’enrôlement des enfants dans les forces et groupes armés.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: DR Congo: German Court Convicts 2 Rwandan Rebel Leaders - Justice for Victims of Grave FDLR Crimes
(Stuttgart, September 28, 2015) – A German court’s conviction of two Rwandan rebel leaders for crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo brings an important measure of justice to victims of mass crimes there, Human Rights Watch said today.
On September 28, 2015, a court in Stuttgart, Germany, convicted Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, the president and vice president of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda, FDLR), and sentenced them to 13 and 8 years in prison, respectively. Murwanashyaka was found guilty of war crimes in relation to five FDLR attacks in eastern Congo and of leading a terrorist organization. Musoni was found guilty of leading a terrorist organization but acquitted of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“The German court’s guilty verdict against Rwandan rebel leaders for crimes in Congo shows that the world has become a smaller place for war criminals,” said Géraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “The court in Stuttgart may be a long way from eastern Congo, but its judges have finally delivered justice to the thousands of Congolese who have suffered serious abuses at the hands of the FDLR.”
The FDLR has long enjoyed impunity for widespread atrocities against civilians in Congo and this trial marks the first time that FDLR leaders have been held to account. German judicial officials should take steps to ensure that affected communities in Congo hear about this important verdict, for example by ensuring that victims have access to the relevant information, Human Rights Watch said.
The FDLR is a predominantly Rwandan Hutu rebel group based in eastern Congo, some of whose leaders participated in the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Murwanashyaka and Musoni had been living in Germany for several years when they were arrested in November 2009. Both were charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by FDLR fighters in eastern Congo between 2008 and 2010, and of belonging to a terrorist group.
Their trial began in May 2011. A written judgment will be issued later. Murwanashyaka and Musoni can appeal the judgment and sentence against them.
The case was the first to be tried under the German 2002 Code of Crimes Against International Law (CCAIL), which integrates the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into German law and allows German courts to investigate and prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide irrespective of where they are committed. In April 2009, the German Federal Police and Prosecution Office created a “Central Unit for the Fight against War Crimes and Further Offenses Pursuant to the CCAIL,” which specializes in investigating grave international crimes.
Investigating and prosecuting complex crimes that took place thousands of kilometers away, amid continuing armed conflict, posed significant challenges for the German justice system.
For example, several charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the recruitment of child soldiers, were dropped in the course of the trial for lack of evidence. This raised questions about the thoroughness of the investigations undertaken by the German authorities. Ensuring the safety and protection of victims and witnesses required special measures. A lack of quality in interpretation from local Congolese and Rwandan languages to German led to disputes about the substance of some of the testimony in the courtroom.
Some rules under German procedural law also seemed ill-suited for this type of trial. For example, the requirement that the names of victims participating as civil parties be made public effectively prevented the participation of Congolese victims due to security concerns.
The German justice authorities should draw lessons from this trial to improve future prosecutions of grave international crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
Germany and other countries with the right legislation in place should continue to prosecute horrific crimes committed abroad, especially when justice is not possible in the countries where the crimes were committed, Human Rights Watch said.
In 2012, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for the military leader of the FDLR, Gen. Sylvestre Mudacumura, believed to be in eastern Congo, but who continues to evade justice.
The guilty verdict underscores the need to arrest the FDLR military commander, whose troops continue to commit horrific abuses in eastern Congo, Human Rights Watch said. Congolese authorities, together with United Nations peacekeeping forces, should urgently implement the ICC arrest warrant and ensure that Mudacumura also faces justice.
“Despite the trial’s complexity, the German authorities did the right thing in trying this case to be sure that Germany does not become a safe haven for war criminals,” Mattioli-Zeltner said. “The government should work to improve future prosecutions under this law and maintain strong political and financial support for the work of the special war crimes unit.”
For more information on the FDLR trial in Stuttgart, please visit: https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/05/02/germany-qa-trial-two-rwandan-rebel-leaders
For more information on the FDLR and crimes in Congo, please visit: https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/07/13/dr-congo-arrest-rebel-leader-wanted-icc https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/12/13/you-will-be-punished/attacks-civilians-eastern-congo
For more information on universal jurisdiction in Germany, please visit: https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/09/16/long-arm-justice/lessons-specialized-war-crimes-units-france-germany-and
Cholera outbreak in Borno State
• 17th day of outbreak from first reported case
• Number of IDP camps affected camps affected remain the same
• Incidence in communities still on the increase, but decreasing in camps
• A total of 408 cases with 13 deaths (CFR =3.2%) recorded
• 23 new cases with no deaths reported as at 24th September: all 23 cases being treated as in-patients
• No discharge as at 24th September
• 56 patients currently on admission in CTC
All Humanitarian actors are requested to upscale their response in their various areas of responsibilities in order to address and mitigate the cholera outbreak. In this regard, UNHCR is increasing it emergency shelter response in and around Maiduguri.