World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


DR Congo: Children suffer abuses

DR Congo: Children suffer abuses while perpetrators largely enjoy impunity – Annan

Grave rights abuses against children continue largely with impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report, calling for stepped-up measures to protect young Congolese at risk of being killed, maimed, recruited in armed forces and groups, abducted, and subject to sexual violence.

In a report to the Security Council, Mr. Annan documents these abuses in Katanga, Ituri and North Kivu Provinces, and says among those engaged in the violations are Mai-Mai groups, Rwandan elements with close links to the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) but not under FDLR command, members of Congolese security forces and dissident or nonaligned groups that have refused to join the army integration process and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration including militia groups such as the coalition of the Mouvement révolutionnaire congolais (MRC).

The report does point to some progress thanks to joint national and international efforts that have resulted in “great strides in the fight against impunity for those who recruit and use children.” The report cites the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a former leader of the Union des patriotes congolais active in Ituri Province, who was handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, accused of the war crime of recruitment and use of children.

The report documents in detail grave rights abuses against children, including incidents when they were killed during clashes by armed groups. It also warns that upcoming polls could exacerbate the plight of these youngsters. “As elections approach, children are at risk of being utilized for political purposes and thus exposed to related violence,” the Secretary-General warns.

Attacks on schools and hospitals have compounded the already abysmal humanitarian conditions faced by children in the DRC, where around half are excluded from health services and millions out of school.

The Secretary-General strongly urges the release of all children present in the DRC armed forces and armed groups operating in the country. He calls on the Government to train and instruct security forces to prevent any excessive or illegal use of force that may result in arbitrary killings or other serious violations against children.

“I also call on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and armed groups to fully respect applicable international law concerning the protection of schools. Attacks on schools and the occupation of school premises, with special attention to affected schools in Katanga Province, must cease without delay,” Mr. Annan writes.

He also encourages the Government and international donors to include child protection within security sector reform efforts.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC