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

 


UN High Commissioner calls for cross-border cooperation

Pillay calls for cross-border cooperation to bring fugitives to justice in Africa’s Great Lakes Region

GENEVA (15 January 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday urged Heads of State attending a major summit in Africa’s Great Lakes Region to ensure that people suspected of committing international crimes and serious human rights violations do not continue to escape justice by crossing borders.

The high-level meeting on the Great Lakes Region currently taking place in Luanda “represents an unprecedented opportunity for member States to advance the fight against impunity in this violence-stricken region,” Pillay said.

The goals of the fifth Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) – the promotion of peace, security, stability and development – “will only be achieved if those responsible for violence and illegal economic exploitation are held to account,” she added.

“To take a recent example, Rwanda and Uganda are currently hosting senior military officers of the M23 rebel group, who are alleged to be among the worst perpetrators of human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including mass killings, rape and recruitment and use of children. If they continue to elude justice in neighbouring States, they remain a security threat, hampering efforts for sustainable peace and development in the region,” the High Commissioner said.

Despite formal commitments taken by the signatories of the February 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement to neither harbor nor protect any person accused of international crimes or who falls under the United Nations sanctions regime, many former M23 elements remain at large in Rwanda and Uganda, and people suspected of active participation in the 1994 Rwanda genocide are still sheltering from justice in the DRC two decades later. Other people suspected of very serious crimes are also believed to have escaped justice by crossing borders.

“I urge States to stop turning a blind eye to the presence of people on their territory who are suspected of committing very serious crimes, and take the opportunity of the summit to address the question of judicial cooperation and ensure accountability for international crimes and serious human rights violations committed throughout the region,” Pillay said.

Senior representatives of the High Commissioner have been making positive progress in recent months with Congolese authorities on impunity-related issues, including follow-up of the United Nations 2010 ‘Mapping Report’ on the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in the DRC between 1993 and 2003.

“I am encouraged by recent efforts of the Congolese authorities to hold accountable high-ranking perpetrators of serious human rights violations including sexual violence. This trend must continue and include cross-border cooperation. The fight against impunity requires an active and real commitment by all States in the sub-region,” said Pillay.

The High Commissioner also noted that the Special Rapporteur on transitional justice* has requested invitations for country visits to a number of Members States of the ICGLR, including the DRC and Rwanda. Extending an invitation to the Special Rapporteur would be one step towards living up to the commitment to fight impunity, she said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news