DR Congo

DRC: UN rights commissioner calls for sanctions on rebels

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KINSHASA, 16 January (IRIN) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio Vieira de Mello on Wednesday demanded that sanctions be imposed on members of rebel groups which have engaged in cannibalism in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The end of De Mello's three-day visit coincided with the publication of a preliminary report by the UN mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, documenting acts of cannibalism and numerous other human rights abuses since October in Ituri District and North Kivu Province. Those accused are members of rebel Mouvement de liberation du congo (MLC) and its ally, the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-National (RCD-N), as well as the Union du peuple congolais.

"The occurrence of cannibalism is particularly revolting. That is why I am launching an appeal to urgently impose sanctions on those who are implicated, in order to prevent a reoccurrence," said De Mello.

During his visit, De Mello discussed the human rights situation in the DRC with the government led by President Joseph Kabila, as well as the rebel RCD-Goma and RCD-Kisangani-Mouvement de liberation, and human rights activists.

"We can attribute blame to everyone," he told journalists on Wednesday, "for a human rights situation in the DRC that remains catastrophic."

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