Thursday, October 14, 2010

The DRC and human rights violations

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently published their findings from the work they've been doing in the DRC. After the discovery of mass graves found in 2005, a formal effort was put forth to determine to what extent atrocities were committed. In this case, the study covers 1993-2003, with their findings found here.

The Office also published recommendations to the Congolese government to pursue several mechanisms that make up the transitional justice framework, an exciting field that empowers societies to find peace and reconciliation in relation to a legacy of abuses and human rights violations. The recommendations can be read in this document and suggests that the DRC pursue prosecutions, truth-telling, reparations for victims and institutional reforms.

The Office also reported on neighboring countries and estimates that some eight national armies and twenty-one irregular armed groups took part in conflict during the 10 year period of study. Much of this was triggered by the influx of 1.2 million Hutu refugees from Rwanda following the 1994 genocide. Widespread attacks against Hutu occurred, with what looks like genocidal intent. The report goes on to say that countries such as Rwanda should be held responsible for human rights violations committed by their army.

Each country named has provided a written rebuttal, with Rwanda stating that the findings are "unacceptable", and claiming that the Office is "rewriting history". It's a 30 page document and worth a read. It was also read elsewhere on the internet that Kagame threatened to pull Rwandan troops out of Sudan if the report was released. I cannot find that source through googling, but its clear from the rebuttal that Kagame's government is not ready to assume any responsibility for what happened in the DRC in the mid 1990s.

No comments:

Post a Comment