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."
[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: Irin@ocha.unon.org or Web: http://www.irinnews.org . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Reposting by commercial sites requires written IRIN permission.]
Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2003