‘Killings of Hutu civilians could be characterized as genocide’
1 Oct, New York
With a clear indication of killings of Hutu civilians in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990s could be classified as ‘genocide’, United Nations has released a report on Friday. The draft report titled as ” DRC Mapping Report “assimilates 617 of the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law over a period of 1993-2003 by both state and non-state actors including the national forces from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Angola. “The apparent systematic and widespread attacks described in report reveal a number of inculpatory elements that, if proven before a competent court, could be characterized as crimes of genocide,” the report reads.
Releasing the report in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also added, ” The report points to the commission of multiple violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, which may constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes, and often both at the same time.”
Noting the involvement of at least 21 armed Congolese groups in serious human rights violations and the operations by the military forces of eight other states, the report says that though the mapping was not about establishing individual criminal responsibility, information of the identities of the alleged perpetrators of some the crimes is being held in a confidential database maintained by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Though DRC welcomed the report, Rwanda, leading the chorus of different African nations’ protests, had furiously reacted upon the findings saying the report as flawed and attempt to rewrite the history.
Along with assimilation of killings of tens of thousands of people and sufferings of numerous others raped, mutilated or otherwise victimized, the report also has tried to examine various options for truth and reconciliation as well as for bringing those responsible for serious crimes to justice. Explaining the report not to be a judicial investigation, UN has made clear that the exercise is aimed at assisting the Congolese government and civil society in developing a holistic policy of transitional justice mechanisms and institutional reforms in order to lay a firm foundation for sustainable peace and development.
The 550-page report presented chronologically, has reflected four key periods in DRC’s recent history. Starting from March 1993 during the reign of President of Mobutu Sese Seko, it has listed the incidents occurred during the period of President Laurent-Desire Kabila when the First and Second Congo wars broke as well as the period after the ceasefire.
Full version of Report : http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/ZR/DRC_MAPPING_REPORT_FINAL_EN.pdf
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