The Security Council should ensure adequate follow-up is given to the June 2011 mass rape and other crimes against civilians perpetrated in the Fizi area of South Kivu by troops of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In particular, the Council should support a thorough investigation of the situation, and inquire as to what measures are being taken to respond to the health and other needs of the survivors, and to guarantee non-repetition of such crimes. In these discussions, the Council should discuss concrete steps to prevent such attacks in the future, including advancing equality for Congolese women, vetting of reintegrated soldiers by the Government, strengthening rule of law institutions, and bringing suspected perpetrators to justice.
In the Council’s discussion of the expected report on the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), empowerment of women and protection of women and girls should be prioritized. Widespread violence against women has been reported and women continue to go without access to goods and services to meet their basic needs. Reporting to the Council on the situation in Haiti should include information on the following:
- Strengthening of case management capacity within MINUSTAH for identified cases of gender-based violence; and
- Ensuring victims of gender-based violence understand the availability of and access to medical services; and
- Feedback from patrolled camps on the efficacy of patrols and identify ways to improve security for women and girls in the camps.
In discussions on the situation in Libya, the Council should urge all forces acting under its authority to prioritize the protection of civilians. Civilians fleeing Libya should be allowed safe passage and immediate access to whichever country they are able to reach, without discrimination. Attention should be given to the specific concerns of displaced women, including an increased risk of sexual violence. Since mid-February 2011, many people have been forcibly “disappeared” by forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi, and are now at grave risk of torture and other serious human rights abuses. The Council should call on the Libyan authorities to, inter alia: ensure the families and lawyers of those detained are informed immediately of the place of detention and of specific allegations; allow immediate independent access to these places of detention in order to ensure the safety of those detained; and immediately release all those detained solely on account of their opinions or peaceful activities. Furthermore, in areas under rebel control, the Council should ensure that civilians are protected and human rights are being upheld.
In its expected discussion on peacekeeping, the Council should substantively address issues of particular concern regarding women, peace and security, including ensuring sufficient senior–level gender expertise in missions; devoting adequate analysis and recommendations regarding women, peace and security in all country and situation reporting; and consistently addressing all relevant aspects of women, peace and security in mission mandates. The Council should also ensure that policy directives from United Nations Headquarters are translated into concrete action on the ground, particularly in regards to the protection elements of mandates, including by utilizing the Protection of Civilians Aide Memoire (S/PRST/2010/25), which highlights the importance of women’s empowerment in protection strategies.
The newly independent Republic of South Sudan, which hosts the recently mandated UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), faces many security challenges and could benefit from support and assistance by international and regional partners. The Abyei conflict is also causing displacement in South Sudan and armed violence within communities has caused significant civilian casualties. In supporting the implementation of its resolution S/RES/1996, the Council should:
- Ensure appropriate support for Troop Contributing Countries and Police Contributing Countries in their predeployment training of troops, specifically on how to best operationalize the women, peace and security and protection elements of the UNMISS mandate; and
- Support expert capacity in the mission regarding early warning and conflict prevention, and to monitor and report on human rights threats against civilians.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
There is mounting evidence that Sudanese security forces deliberately target civilians for attack and abuse. The reports of civilian casualties, including of women, children and the elderly, along with displacement of civilians has been furthermore identified to be a result of continued aerial bombardment and other attacks against civilians. Additional acts include alleged arrests, abductions, acts of torture, interrogations, forced displacement of thousands and coerced returns, as well as violations of the right to freedom of assembly and expression, disproportionately targeting the Nuba people. In its discussions regarding the situation in Sudan, the Security Council should:
- Authorize an assessment mission to Southern Kordofan to investigate the alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by all parties;
- Urge Sudan to accept an international monitoring presence in South Kordofan and Blue Nile to monitor human rights violations;
- Urge all parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian personnel timely and unfettered access to affected civilians to assess needs and meet those needs;
- Follow-up on its responsibilities as guarantors of the CPA; and
- Call on the Government of Sudan to immediately halt aerial bombardments and attacks on civilians and respect international human rights and humanitarian law.
In its regular work, the Council should ensure that all country reports evaluate the level of implementation of SCRs 1325, 1820 (OP 9), 1888 (OP 11), 1889 (OP 5) and 1960 (OP 6, 13), and provide recommendations on further implementation. Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting. The Council should also consistently and substantively address all relevant women, peace and security elements in its resolutions and mandate renewals.