MinBane

I write what I like.

Archive for the tag “UMAS”

The DRC Armed Group Leader Sheka Handed Over by MONUSCO to the Congolese Authorities (07.08.2017)

Sheka has been wanted since 2011 by the Congolese justice system for crimes against humanity, including mass rape and child recruitment.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 7, 2017 – Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, leader of the armed group Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC), was transferred on Friday August 4th to Kinshasa and was handed over by MONUSCO to the Congolese judicial authorities. Sheka has been under MONUSCO supervision in Goma since his surrender on 26 July.

He is accompanied by two alleged NDC combatants who also surrendered and are subject to judicial warrants of arrest for crimes against humanity including rape and child recruitment. The individuals will be detained, awaiting trial, in a location where MONUSCO will have access to ensure that relevant international human rights standards are observed.

The United Nations, through the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, called on the DRC government to “take all necessary measures to ensure that Sheka is promptly tried in adherence to basic standards of due process and that the charges against him appropriately correspond to all the crimes committed”.

Sheka surrendered to MONUSCO in the village of Mutongo about ten kilometers north of Walikale in full knowledge of the fact that he is the subject of an arrest warrant and will be brought to justice. Sheka has been wanted since 2011 by the Congolese justice system for crimes against humanity, including mass rape and child recruitment. NDC fighters are alleged to have raped almost 400 civilians, including 300 women, 23 men and 61 children, in 13 villages on the Kibua-Mpofi axis in the Walikale (North Kivu) between 30 July and 2 August 2010. United Nations have also documented the alleged recruitment of at least 154 children by this rebel group.

“Sheka’s surrender is a positive sign. A fair trial would be a significant step in the fight against impunity and a victory for victims of abuses by armed groups who have the right to justice”, said Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC.

Advertisements

RDC: Declaration Politique Conjointe des Forces Politiques et Sociales Soutenant la Candidature de Moise Katumbi (05.08.2017)

RDC: Communique du Gouvernement – “Sur le rapport nouvellement publié de l’OCHA sur la violence à Kasai” (04.08.2017)

DRC: Victims’ harrowing accounts indicate Government complicity in ethnic-based massacres in Kasai – UN report (04.08.2017)

GENEVA (4 August 2017) – Violence in the Kasai provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo appears to be taking on an increasing and disturbing ethnic dimension, a report by the UN Human Rights Office has warned. Information gathered by a team of UN human rights investigators* suggests that some of the violations and abuses committed in the Kasais may amount to crimes under international law.

The report is based on interviews with 96 people who had fled to neighbouring Angola to escape the violence in Kamonia territory in Kasai. The UN team was able to confirm that between 12 March and 19 June some 251 people were the victims of extrajudicial and targeted killings. These included 62 children, of which 30 were aged under eight. Interviewees indicated that local security forces and other officials actively fomented, fuelled, and occasionally led, attacks on the basis of ethnicity. The UN Mission in the DRC has identified at least 80 mass graves in the Kasais.

The team saw people who had been seriously injured or mutilated, including a seven-year-old boy who had had several fingers cut off and his face totally disfigured. A woman whose arm had been chopped off recounted how she managed to escape, hiding for several days in the forest before reaching the Angolan border and being airlifted to hospital. Some of the refugees pleaded with the UN team to be heard, and two of the people they interviewed died shortly afterwards from their injuries.

“Survivors have spoken of hearing the screams of people being burned alive, of seeing loved ones chased and cut down, of themselves fleeing in terror. Such bloodletting is all the more horrifying because we found indications that people are increasingly being targeted because of their ethnic group,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. “Their accounts should serve as a grave warning to the Government of the DRC to act now to prevent such violence from tipping into wider ethnic cleansing.” 

“I call on the Government to take all necessary measures to fulfil its primary obligation to protect people from all ethnic backgrounds in the greater Kasai area,” he added.

The fighting began in August 2016 between the Kamuina Nsapu militia and the Government. The UN team was able to confirm that another militia, called the Bana Mura, was formed around March/April 2017 by individuals from the Tshokwe, Pende and Tetela ethnic groups. It was allegedly armed and supported by local traditional leaders and security officials, including from the army and the police, to attack the Luba and Lulua communities who are accused of being accomplices of the Kamuina Nsapu.

According to the report, “the Bana Mura allegedly undertook a campaign aimed at eliminating the entire Luba and Lulua populations in the villages they attacked.” In many of the incidents reported to the team, FARDC soldiers were seen leading groups of Bana Mura militia during attacks on villages.

“The Government’s responsibility includes ensuring that those who organised, recruited and armed the Bana Mura or other militias are identified and prosecuted,” the High Commissioner stressed.

Many Luba and Lulua witnesses and victims said that the Bana Mura militia carried out what appeared to be well-planned attacks on several villages in Kamonia territory in April and May. Wearing white bandanas made from mosquito nets and bracelets of leaves, the Bana Mura attacked Luba and Lulua inhabitants, beheading, mutilating and shooting victims; in some cases burning them alive in their homes.

In one of the most shocking attacks, in the village of Cinq, 90 patients, colleagues and people who had sought refuge in a health centre were killed, including patients who could not escape when the surgical ward was set on fire.

Victims’ accounts included a woman who told the team how the militia killed her husband, attacked her daughter with machetes, and shot her and her 22-month-old son, who later had to have his leg amputated at a hospital in Angola. The team also heard accounts of rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence.

People also told the UN team that the Kamuina Nsapu militia carried out targeted killings, including against the military, police, and public officials.

In all incidents documented by the team, the Kamuina Nsapu were reported to have used boys and girls, many aged between seven and 13, as fighters. Witnesses also said groups of girls called “Lamama” accompanied the militia, shaking their straw skirts and drinking victims’ blood as part of a magic ritual that was supposed to render the group invincible. All the refugees interviewed by the team said they were convinced of the magical powers of the Kamuina Nsapu.

“This generalised belief, and resulting fear, by segments of the population in the Kasais may partly explain why a poorly armed militia, composed to a large extent of children, has been able to resist offensives by a national army for over a year,” the report says.

Given the situation in the Kasais, the report highlights the need for the team of international experts on the situation in the Kasais, established in June by the UN Human Rights Council, to be granted safe and unrestricted access to information, sites and individuals deemed necessary for their work.

This report will be put at the disposal of the international experts, as well as any other judicial institution addressing the human rights situation in the Kasais, in an effort to advance accountability efforts in this regard.

RDC: Communique du Rassemblement – “Memo a l’Attention de Monsieur Corneille Nanga, President de la Commission Electorale Nationale Independante (CENI).” (03.08.2017)

RDC: CENI – “Portant Suspension du Processus de l’Election des Gouverneur et Vice-Gouverneur dans les Provinces du Kasai” Central et de la Mongala (02.08.2017)

RDC: Moise Katumbi – “Declaration de Soutien a la Mobilisation du 31 Juillet 2017 (29.07.2017)

RDC: Unicef – “850 000 enfants deplaces dans la region du Kasai en Republique Democartique du Congo” (27.07.2017)

RDC: “A cet effet, le Comite Directeur de l’ARC fait la declaration suivante” (15.07.2017)

RDC: MSR / G7 Afrique du Sud – Communique de Presse (14.07.2017)

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: