Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


AI calls on DRC to halt clashes in east

10 October 2012, 12:33

Kinshasa - Amnesty International called on Wednesday on the Democratic Republic of Congo to put an end to the fighting in the east of the country where several local and foreign armed groups are committing abuses.

The Congolese government must take urgent steps to stop the violence in the east of the country and hold to account all who have committed human rights abuses, the London-based watchdog said, as the DRC prepares to host a major gathering of Francophone leaders.

“Human rights abuses continue unabated and with total impunity,” says Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Africa Director.

An Amnesty International delegation has recently returned from eastern DRC, where delegates documented cases of rape, summary killings, forced recruitment of civilians including children, looting and illegal taxation by different armed groups.

The Francophonie Summit – a biennial gathering of French speaking nations - will be hosted October 12-14 in Kinshasa, as violence in the east is escalating, resulting in widespread violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

“We are urging member states of International Organisation of Francophonie to ensure that the numerous violations of the values and principles stated in the Francophone Charter and the Bamako Declaration, are condemned in the strongest possible terms," the statement said.

"The organisation should use all existing mechanisms to ensure that the Congolese authorities fulfil their obligations as a member state.”

French President Francois Hollande will attend the summit, along with other heads of state of francophone countries from around the world.

Egregious abuses

“The leaders of Francophone nations are assembling in a country where there are daily reports of egregious abuses. They cannot ignore the context in which this major summit is taking place."

"They have a responsibility to engage with the Congolese authorities and demand action to stop the violence and hold perpetrators to account,” said Audrey Gaughran.

Since conflict began between the Congolese army and the M23 armed group in April 2012, over 226 000 people have been forced to leave their homes in North Kivu province while about 60 000 have crossed the border to seek refuge in Uganda and Rwanda, the statement said.

"In July 2012, civilians were caught in the cross fire between government forces (FARDC) and the M23 who launched attacks against Rutshuru and Kiwanja, showing complete disregard for international standards with regard to protection of civilians".

Amnesty International says it is also concerned about the increase of ethnic-related violence. Between May and September 2012, the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), the Nyatura and Raia Mutomboki armed groups in Masisi territory specifically targeted civilians who belonged or who were believed to belong to certain ethnic groups.

"Impunity for breaches of international law has become entrenched in the DRC."

Despite arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Bosco Ntaganda and Sylvestre Mudacumura, both indicted for war crimes, neither of them has been arrested.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...