- The UN Chief, Ban Ki-moon, has said security and humanitarian crisis still remains a challenge in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo despite new accords signed between the government and main militant group in the region.
Mr Ban’s new report covering the period from March after the signing to the accord on 23 March by the government and the National Congress for People’s Defence (CNDP), has revealed new challenges which further increase the fragility and volatility of the situation in the area.
The report points out the poor conduct of the newly-integrated units of the DRC forces (FARDC) in North and South Kivu provinces, saying many troops are unpaid, poorly trained and badly equipped to battle militancy in the region.
“Command and control of FARDC units is also fragile, resulting in stepped up desertions, mutinies and a surge in unacceptable abuses against the very populations that these forces are expected to protect,” Mr Ban’s report said.
According to the UN, there are more than 1.7 million internally displaced persons in eastern DRC, with 500,000 having been uprooted since January due to clashes between the FARDC and the rebel Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR).
However, in his report Mr Ban said that the 350,000 displaced have been able to return to their homes in North Kivu.
The Secretary-General also said despite positive developments in the region, the human rights situation is still cause for grave concern for the agency.
The report blames the ongoing violence against civilian population in eastern DRC on members of the FARDC and the Congolese National Police, though it said members of foreign armed groups such as the FDLR and the notorious Ugandan group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) are responsible for massacres of civilians, sexual violence and arbitrary executions.
“Another major obstacle continues to be addressing impunity, requiring the efforts of the highest levels of Government to bring those behind human rights and other abuses to justice,” the report said.
Eastern DRC has been plagued by violence since 1994, after notorious ethnic Hutu militia known as the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) fled prosecution in Rwanda after the genocide.
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