AFRICA/DR CONGO - Ten years after the presentation of the UN Mapping Report, victims are still waiting for justice

Thursday, 8 October 2020 armed groups   justice   bishops   un  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Ten years have passed since the United Nations' “Mapping” report was presented (see Fides, 7/5/2011), in which the human rights violations committed between March 1993 and June 2003 in the Democratic Republic of Congo were documented (617 documented episodes). Five hundred and eighty-one pages highlight facts, people, places where massacres and violence took place. And an extremely differentiated picture emerges.
The report includes 200 names of prominent figures involved in crimes that "contain overwhelming elements [...]of genocide", whose identities are not revealed.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the report's publication, several demonstrations were organized by civil society organizations across the country, notably in Bukavu and Kisangani, to call for legal proceedings against the perpetrators of the crimes mentioned in the report. Civil society representatives also demand the truth about what happened and concrete measures of reparation for the victims.
On the part of the Congolese government, the Minister for Human Rights stresses that a truth and justice commission has been set up and, on the other hand, a compensation fund for victims is planned.
In the meantime, however, violence continues: Archbishop of Bukavu, His Exc. Mgr. François Xavier Maroy Rusengo, has launched an appeal to the armed groups still active in South Kivu Province and throughout the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, asking them to be actors of peace, not of violence and to lay down arms.
Last December the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Ambongo Besungu Fridolin, complained after a visit to North Kivu that there were international initiatives aimed at the so-called "Balkanization" of Congo. "And this will continue until there is what Congolese civil society has been asking for for a long time: peace and justice", said the Cardinal. For this reason, activists also support the requests of Nobel Peace Prize Denis Mukwege, the doctor who treats victims of war rape in the region, so that "an international tribunal can be created for Congo that must not remain a bastion of impunity". (F.F.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/10/2020)