AFRICA/DR CONGO - Congolese government and the UN have to open an investigation into the massacres in the northeast

Monday, 4 April 2016 massacres  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Since October 2014, in the surroundings of the town of Beni, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), more than five hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands of people fled their houses", says a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the Peace Network for Congo which reports the results of investigations of the study Group on Congo (GEC), according to which these massacres cannot be attributed only to the Ugandan rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces ( ADF), as publicly stated by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and by the Congolese government.
According to GEC it is necessary to also reconsider the definition of the ADF, which more than a foreign Islamist group motivated by revenge, shows it is a group that, in the course of two decades of presence in the area of Beni, has managed to weave ties with militias and other local groups. In addition to the commanders strictly belonging to the ADF, in the attacks perpetrated against the civilian population some members of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), former soldiers of the Congolese Rally for Democracy - Kisangani / Liberation Movement (RCD- K / ML) and members of other local militias are also implicated.
Although it is not possible to rule on the chain of command, or on the motivations of these groups, it is clear however that the Congolese government and MONUSCO have not carried out sufficient efforts to address this crisis and have mistakenly identified the enemy. Often, despite having lost hundreds of soldiers during military operations against the ADF before the month of July 2014, FARDC did not react in time to protect the population during and after the events.
The last report documents cases in which the officers of the FARDC prevented their troops to intervene during the massacres.
"The gravity of the situation requires further investigation", said the Network for Peace in Congo, according to which it is necessary that the military justice appoints a special commission of inquiry, headed by a high-ranking and appointed military prosecutor to open an investigation on the massacres perpetrated since October 2014. Even the office for human rights of MONUSCO should conduct another complementary investigation. Finally, it is necessary that other national institutions carry out their role of control, in particular the commission of the defense and security of the Senate and National Assembly. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/04/2016)