The post-election situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to be insecure and violent. At least 14 civilians were killed in Kinshasa during election-related violence, and at least 12 opposition supporters and bystanders were fatally shot and 41 others suffered gunshot wounds during violence near Arret Kingasani, Arret Pascal, Marché de Liberté, Pont Matete, and in the Limeté neighborhood. Election irregularities have included fraud, intimidation of voters and political party witnesses, and violence by armed groups has been reported in numerous regions. In addition, we remain deeply concerned at the persistent lack of accountability for crimes in DRC, including mass rape in Walikale in 2010 and in the area around Fizi in 2011, as well as the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003, as reported by OHCHR in 2010. This lack of accountability further exacerbates the security concerns in these communities. In its discussions on the situation in the DRC, including on the expected Secretary-General report on the UN mission in DRC (MONUSCO), the Council should:
- Condemn the violence, including that committed by security forces, in the aftermath of the November 2011 elections;
- Call upon the Congolese government to investigate and hold to account individuals, including members of the security forces, who sought to intimidate political party witnesses and election officials engaged in compiling results;
- Hold the DRC government to account for the lack of prosecution of suspected perpetrators of sexual violence, and for inadequate witness protection and service provision for survivors, including by calling upon the DRC government to act upon the Congolese arrest warrant for Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka for crimes against humanity for mass rape committed in August 2010; and
- Ensure MONUSCO fully implements its mandate to prioritize the protection of civilians (SCR 1991, OP1).
The Council is expected to continue discussing the situation in Libya, considering a report of the Secretary-General following the extension of the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in December 2011. There are ongoing concerns about the safety and security of Libyan women, particularly ethnic Libyans and Sub-Saharan women. These groups face harassment, intimidation, and threats of sexual violence. UNSMIL and human rights organizations have also reported on women held in detention in the absence of female guards and under male supervision, and of children detained alongside adults. Women detainees have highlighted the absence of formal investigations and charges, and the lack of information on the reason for their detention. In its ongoing discussions regarding Libya, the Council should:
- Urge continued attention to the situation of women who have been displaced, including from Sub-Saharan Africa; and of women among the estimated 7,000 detainees under the control of revolutionary brigades;
- Support the National Transitional Council (NTC) in ensuring clear procedures for policing, arrests, prosecution, and detention;
- Give strong support for women’s rights in the new constitution, and in the development of new, democratic political institutions, and to measures to increase women’s political participation;
- Hold the NTC accountable for respecting international law and for addressing the ongoing protection concerns faced by Libyan and sub-Saharan women and girls;
- Urge the NTC to hold accountable perpetrators of violence against women and girls; and
- As the mandate of UNSMIL continues to be discussed, the Council should ensure that UNSMIL has the necessary political support to independently report on human rights violations against Libyan and Sub-Saharan women.
Security at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya continues to deteriorate. More than 463,000 refugees, mostly Somalis, live in the camp, with new refugees arriving on a daily basis. Insecurity in Dadaab has constrained the ability of aid agencies to deliver basic services, and gender-based violence, including sexual violence, is endemic. In its discussions regarding the situation in Somalia, the Security Council should ensure it thoroughly addresses the impact of the Somali refugee crisis on regional peace and security. The Council should urge host governments to respect refugee law, and donor governments to provide necessary development and humanitarian assistance, as well as share responsibility with the Kenyan government for Somali refugees, including by substantially increasing resettlement programmes for Somali refugees to third countries. The Council should also support necessary funding to UNHCR to deploy sufficient protection staff to Somali refugee camps in the region, and to monitor human rights violations against Somali refugees, including those committed by the Kenyan security forces. In addition, the Council should support the Kenyan government in deploying additional police officers to Dadaab to improve security. The Council should support the Kenyan government in ensuring that police officers deployed to Dadaab are trained in human rights, including gender issues and refugee law, and made accountable for any human rights violations they are found responsible for committing.
The Council has received the report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, established by the Human Rights Council in August 2011, which concludes that crimes against humanity have been committed in that country. The commission of inquiry received testimony of sexual violence committed by security and military forces, mostly against men and boys, and that women were threatened and insulted during house raids by the military and security forces. Defectors from the military and security forces indicated that they had been present in places of detention where women were sexually assaulted. In its discussions regarding the situation in Syria, the Council should:
- Demand that Syria end the widespread human rights abuses committed by government forces, including the use of excessive and lethal force against demonstrators, arbitrary detention and torture;
- Refer the situation in Syria immediately to Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;
- Impose a complete arms embargo on Syria preventing the transfer of all weaponry, munitions and related equipment and the provision of personnel and assistance;
- Implement an asset freeze against President Bashar al-Assad and others who may be involved in ordering or perpetrating serious violations of human rights or international humanitarian law;
- Demand that Syria cooperate fully with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council and the monitoring mission established by the Arab League, including by providing both with immediate and unfettered access;
- Invite the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to periodically brief the Council on the situation in Syria;
- Consider the conclusions and recommendations of the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria; and
- Demand access for humanitarian missions, independent journalists, and independent human rights organizations.
The Council is expected to discuss the forthcoming report of the Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict (SCR 1960, OP 18) and review the mandate of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence (SCR 1888, OP 4, 28). In its discussions of the new monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements required by SCR 1960, the Council should ensure that full consideration is given to the health, safety and dignity of survivors; the presumption of innocence of alleged perpetrators; and coordination with national and international justice mechanisms. In all of these efforts, prevention and protection strategies should be guided by consultation with survivors and relevant civil society actors. The Council should take this opportunity to review the consistency and efficacy with which it addresses sexual violence in conflict in its own work, and ensure all these efforts are accompanied by the requisite resources, including political support. In addition, the Council should ensure that all country reports and mandate renewals evaluate the level of protection and promotion of women’s human rights, as per SCRs 1325, 1820 (OP 9), 1888 (OP 11), 1889 (OP 5) and 1960 (OP 6, 13).