Sunday 25 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
The UN Human Rights Council on Friday decided to send a group of experts to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help investigate an explosion of deadly violence in the Kasai region. A council resolution called on the UN rights office to dispatch a team of international experts to help Kinshasa investigate gross rights violations in the region, including extrajudicial killings, torture, rape and the use of child soldiers. More than 3,300 people have been killed in eight months of spiralling unrest in the central Kasai region, the papal envoy to the country said earlier this week. About 1.3 million people have fled their homes, according to UN figures. The resolution adopted by the 47-member...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
The United Nations opened an investigation on Friday into killings in central Democratic Republic of Congo, though some Western countries and campaign groups said they had hoped it would have a stronger mandate. Kinshasa has been fighting insurgents in the Kasai region since August, triggering fears of a wider conflict in the large central African country, a tinderbox of ethnic rivalry and competing claims over mineral resources. Congo's Catholic church said this week the violence had killed more than 3,300 people since October, with both government forces and the militia responsible for hundreds of deaths. The U.N.'s Human Rights Council, composed of 47 member states, adopted by consensus the resolution calling for an investigation, brought by African countries. Congo's Ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Clashes between militants and government troops on Thursday left 16 dead in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the army said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in the troubled North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons fire. The province has been plagued by regular flare-ups of ethnic bloodshed, which over the past year has seen a cycle of attacks and reprisal raids between militias. "The provisional toll is 13...
(Voice of America 06/23/17)
GENEVA — The United Nations Human Rights Council launched an international investigation on Friday into killings and other atrocities in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 47-member Geneva forum adopted by consensus a resolution brought by African countries which also called on the Kinshasa government to cooperate with the team of international experts. U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has called repeatedly for the inquiry and said on Tuesday that a militia linked to government has...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks...
(AFP 06/22/17)
At least seven militants were killed Thursday in clashes with troops involving heavy weapons in a city in Democratic Republic of Congo's restive east, police said. The fighting erupted in the eastern suburbs of Beni, a city in North-Kivu province, with residents hearing gunshots and heavy weapons fire. A spokesman for the country's armed forces (FARDC) told AFP the confrontation started when a new rebel group staged an early-morning attack on two of its positions east of the city, saying...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called Tuesday for an independent international investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed in the Kasai region of Democratic Republic of Congo. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein made his urgent plea to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. Last month, the high commissioner gave Congolese authorities a June 8 deadline to join an investigation with the U.N. to bring the perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses in Kasai to justice. The Congolese authorities rebuffed his plea, so he is now making good on his threat to urge the Human Rights Council to deploy an independent investigation.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/21/17)
A change of tone in Angola's relationship with longtime ally Congo has left Congolese President Joseph Kabila more isolated than ever as he clings to power in his vast central African country. Angola, a regional political and military heavyweight, has on several occasions provided vital support for Kabila, who took over as president of Democratic Republic of Congo in 2001 following the assassination of his father. But Luanda is frustrated by Kabila's handling of several crises, including his failure to...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
More than 3,000 people have been killed in eight months of spiralling violence in DR Congo's troubled central region of Kasai, a report by the Roman Catholic church said. According to figures compiled by the church and listed in a report by the papal envoy, a copy of which was seen by AFP on Tuesday, some 3,383 people have died in violence between security forces and a tribal militia. The UN's MONUSCO peacekeeping mission had previously spoken of "more than...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
The UN rights chief on Tuesday accused authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo of backing a new militia behind "horrific attacks" in the Kasai provinces, including killing and mutilating hundreds of civilians. "I am appalled by the creation and arming of a militia, the Bana Mura, allegedly to support the authorities in fighting the Kamwina Nsapu (rebels)," Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein told the UN Human Rights Council. Over the past two months, the militia had carried out "horrific attacks against civilians from the Luba and Lulua ethnic groups," destroying entire villages, and shooting, burning and hacking to death villagers...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
Congolese security forces and a militia fighting them have killed at least 3,383 people in the central Kasai region since October, the Catholic church said on Tuesday, in the most detailed report to date on the violence. Church officials, citing their own sources in the remote territory bordering Angola, said the army had destroyed 10 villages as it sought to stamp out an insurrection. They also accused the Kamuina Nsapu militia of killing hundreds of people, destroying four villages and...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's justice minister said on Monday that his government would not admit an independent investigation into violence in its Kasai region which has been called for by a top U.N. human rights official. The U.N. Human Rights Council is likely to vote this week on whether to authorize such an investigation into violence that has killed hundreds in central Congo since last August, including two U.N. experts who were murdered earlier this year. "Carrying out an investigation...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
The U.N. rights chief said on Tuesday a militia linked to Democratic Republic of Congo's government has committed a string of ethnically-motivated attacks in recent months, including cutting off toddlers' limbs and stabbing pregnant women. Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein called for an international investigation, saying the Kinshasa government had not done enough to look into the atrocities. Congo's human rights minister dismissed that statement. Zeid told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva he had reports the Bana Mura militia...
(Voice of America 06/20/17)
GENEVA — Congo's justice minister says investigations into killings in the central Kasai regions have "progressed well'' and four people have been arrested over the grisly slayings of two U.N. experts. Alexis Thambwe Mwamba expressed opposition to European Union resolution at the Human Rights Council that seeks an international, independent mission to investigate rights violations and allegations of mass graves in the wake of hundreds of killings in the Kasai provinces. Speaking to reporters Monday on the sidelines of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Stigma and rejection from their communities after returning home from armed groups are driving former girl soldiers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo back into the militias, where they are prey to violence and sexual abuse, a charity said on Monday. For many girls in the conflict-ravaged east of the country, the pain of being spurned by their families and friends as survivors of rape was worse than the violence itself, according to a report...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/20/17)
Religious and indigenous leaders appealed on Monday for better protection of tropical forests from the Amazon to the Congo basin, with a Vatican bishop likening current losses to a collective suicide by humanity. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Daoist representatives met indigenous peoples in Oslo to explore moral and ethical arguments to shield forests that are under threat from logging and land clearance for farms. Organizers said the Oslo Interfaith Rainforest Initiative from June 19-21 was the first to...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/17)
The United States warned on Friday that it had received new reports from within Democratic Republic of Congo accusing Congolese troops of actively carrying out a campaign of killing and raping women and children in the central Kasai region. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called for action. "Reports of the Congolese government's campaign of murder and rape of women and children should shock us into action. These allegations must be investigated and those responsible held accountable," Haley said in a statement. The Democratic Republic of Congo mission to the United Nations was not immediately available for comment. The top U.N...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/17)
The outlawed Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has stepped up attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo close to the South Sudanese border as a U.S.-supported regional task force pulls out, the U.N. humanitarian office said in a report on Friday. Forty rebels from the group, which is led by Joseph Kony, kidnapped 61 civilians in a June 7 raid in the Tanganyika mining area near the Garamba National Park in Haut-Uele province, the report said, citing local civil society and aid...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/17)
A soldier and 12 militants were killed Saturday in clashes in DR Congo's restive eastern North-Kivu province, the army said. "Twelve Mai-Mai and an officer from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo died in fighting that last nearly all of Saturday for control of the Kabasha area," army spokesman Lieutenant Jules Tshikudi told AFP. The Mai-Mai are vigilante groups that run along ethnic lines. During the brutal Second Congo War between 1998 and 2003, numerous groups were armed by the government to fight against Ugandan or Rwandan forces, and some of them never disarmed.

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