8 March 2013 – The United Nations has called on the national army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to suspend two of its battalions which, according to investigations, have been involved in mass rapes and other human rights violations.
Investigations conducted over the past three months by the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) in the town of Minova and surrounding villages found that two units of the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) engaged in mass rapes and other human violations in late November 2012, said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky.
As a result of these findings, MONUSCO addressed a letter on 4 February to the FARDC’s chief of staff requesting the formal suspension of support to these units. It subsequently sent a second and final injunction on 18 February, in line with the UN’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.
“The UN Mission is in touch with Congolese authorities at the highest level to ensure that the alleged perpetrators, including Congolese armed forces commanders, be brought to justice and held accountable,” Mr. Nesirky told reporters in New York today.
“The Mission will maintain, together with other partners, its support to Congolese judicial authorities to pursue their investigations and will offer its support for any trial to be held.”