DR Congo

Statement by Minister Pettigrew regarding massacre of civilians in Democratic Republic of the Congo

No. 125

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew today issued the following statement condemning the massacre of at least 39 civilians by armed men during the night of July 9 to 10, 2005, in Ntulumamba, South Kivu, in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):

"The Government of Canada strongly condemns this attack on DRC citizens, most of whom were women and children. I would like to offer my condolences to the families of the deceased and to the Congolese people, who continue to suffer the consequences of these grave acts.

"Canada reiterates its support for the work of the United Nations Mission in the DRC, which is striving to carry out the mandate it received from the Security Council, particularly to protect civilians and restore security.

"We urge all members of armed groups that are still active to renounce violence and honour their commitments under the peace agreements. The demobilization, reintegration and repatriation programs were designed to accommodate these combatants. The Rwandan Hutu rebels who have taken refuge in the DRC must lay down their weapons and return to Rwanda, as they agreed to do in March 2005.

"Canada supports the transition process under way in the DRC, aimed at restoring democracy and stability in that country. To achieve this goal, we urge all parties to commit to the electoral process, which has clearly begun in the country."

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Sébastien Théberge, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, (613) 995-1851

Media Relations Office, Foreign Affairs Canada, (613) 995-1874