The present report has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of Security Council resolution 1612 (2005). It is presented to the Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict as the third country report on the situation of children and armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The report covers the period from June 2007 to September 2008. It focuses on areas of the country in which armed groups are still active, notably the Ituri district, the provinces of North and South Kivu and North Katanga.
The report notes the decrease in the number of allegations of grave violations against children in the reporting period, while indicating that children are still the primary victims of the ongoing conflict in affected areas. It stresses the continued recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups, particularly in connection with outbreaks of hostilities in some areas. The report also raises concerns about the re-recruitment of children, due in part to insufficient support from earlier disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes. Widespread incidents of rape and other sexual violence against girls and boys remains of critical concern. The report identifies both State and non-State parties responsible for grave violations against children.
There has been some progress in the implementation of a national action plan on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of children, as well as follow-up and the programmatic response to all six grave violations (see A/59/695-S/2005/72, para. 68). There has also been a commitment by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to address impunity for violations against children as demonstrated by a number of prosecutions of perpetrators by national military and civil judicial mechanisms.
The report contains a series of action-oriented recommendations with a view to strengthening cooperation and the child protection framework in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to address critical cross-border concerns for children affected by armed conflict in the subregion.