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

 


DR Congo: UN Official Welcomes Security Council Action


DR Congo: UN Official Welcomes Security Council Action In Efforts Against Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

New York, Jan 8 2013 3:00PM The United Nations official dealing with conflict-related sexual violence today welcomed the Security Council’s imposition of sanctions on two armed groups active in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and 23 March Movement (M23).

“The Security Council’s sanctions committee for the DRC has led the way in focusing on crimes of sexual violence,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, added in a news release.

“I also welcome the designation of Lt. Col. Eric Badege and Jean-Marie Lugerero Runinga of M23 for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,” she continued.

On the last day of 2012, the Security Council’s so-called ‘1533 Committee’ added the FDLR and the M23 – as well as Lt. Col. Badege and Mr. Runinga – to its list of individuals and entities subject to sanctions.

The Committee is named after the Council’s resolution 1533. Agreed on in 2004, the resolution deals with sanctions including an arms embargo which applies to non-governmental entities and individuals operating in DRC and which are not part of the Government’s integrated army or police units, as well as targeted travel and financial sanctions against individuals or entities that have violated the embargo or are otherwise designated.

“I urge Member States to ensure the full implementation of the measures imposed by the Security Council, including the travel ban and asset freeze,” Ms. Bangura said.

In the 1533 Committee’s decision to add the two entities to the sanctions list, it noted their involvement in violations of international law, including sexual violence, amongst other violations. In relation to Mr. Runinga, the Committee noted his leadership role in the M23, while Lt. Col. Badege was identified as a military leader.

The problem of armed groups in the eastern DRC has been a long-running one for many years, displacing thousands of people and causing major humanitarian problems in the area. Made up primarily of ethnic Hutu fighters linked to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the FDLR has been active since late 1994, mainly in the country’s east.

Meanwhile, the M23 – made up of former national army troops who mutinied in April and named after a 23 March 2009 peace agreement that they reportedly say has not been implemented – was active throughout 2012.

M23 fighters occupied the Goma, the capital of the eastern province of North Kivu, in late November, after an advance that included clashes with the DRC armed forces, known by the French acronym FARDC.

Amidst widespread condemnation and calls for their withdrawal, they pulled out from the city of one million after 11 days in accordance with requirements laid out by a regional inter-governmental organization – the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) – and monitored by some of the 1,500 peacekeepers in the city, stationed there by the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). M23 representatives are currently reported to be in peace talks, taking place in Uganda, with the DRC Government.

“I condemn reported acts of violence being committed in areas controlled by armed groups, including M23 and FDLR,” Ms. Bangura said. “These recent sanctions by the Security Council serve as a reminder and signal of intent that they will be held accountable for all acts of sexual violence committed in these zones.”

The Special Representative also called for the ICGLR to assist the DRC authorities in preventing and responding to conflict-related sexual violence in the eastern DRC – in accordance with the 2010 Declaration of Heads of State and Government of Member States of the ICGLR on the Prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and the 2006 Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Girls.

“The prevention of and response to the epidemic of sexual violence in DRC requires a new impetus and multiple partnerships – it is one of many crimes that is certain to be committed when conflict breaks out and families are vulnerable and displaced,” the UN official said. “Unfortunately, it is a scene that is bound to be repeated in the DRC unless we put an immediate end to it.”

In addition, Ms. Bangura called on DRC’s Prime Minister Matata Ponyo Mapon to immediately investigate and prosecute the recent conflict-related sexual violence crimes committed by the FARDC and other forces in Minova, located in South Kivu province, and in Munigi and Goma, located in North Kivu province, in November 2012.

“I also urge the Prime Minister to fully implement the National Strategy to Combat Gender-Based Violence and develop an action plan for the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence committed by the security forces and armed groups in DRC,” she added.
Jan 8 2013 3:00PM
________________
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UN.News.Centre) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/UN_News_Centre)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news