Measures must include improved vetting of reintegrated soldiers, strengthening rule of law institutions, bringing suspected perpetrators to justice, and advancing equality for Congolese women.

The NGO Working Group welcomes the UN’s announcement that it has already conducted an initial assessment of the incident and plans more in-depth investigations.6 The United Nations should investigate and publicly report on why the soldiers were not prevented from carrying out the attack, and what measures are being taken to respond to the needs of the survivors and to guarantee non-repetition of such crimes. Measures must include improved vetting of reintegrated soldiers, strengthening rule of law institutions, bringing suspected perpetrators to justice, and advancing equality for Congolese women.

The UN’s current investigations into the attacks in the Fizi area must not become yet another “lessons learned” exercise, destined to gather dust in unread UN manuals and archives. This is a pivotal moment to implement measures old and new that will guarantee non-repetition of such attacks. Prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations must be conducted into these crimes in accordance with international standards and, where there is sufficient admissible evidence, the perpetrators must be brought to justice in a process that ensures protection of victims and witnesses and foresees the provision of health services to the victims.

The wider culture of impunity for this and other crimes must be ended through a comprehensive reform of the judicial system and the security sector.

The wider culture of impunity for this and other crimes must be ended through a comprehensive reform of the judicial system and the security sector. In addition, the international community – including the Security Council, the UN system, and donor countries – must invest all available political, technical and financial resources in leveraging the DRC executive, judiciary and legislature to meet their responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of all Congolese.

  1. Amnesty International: New mass rapes in DRC are result of horrific failure of justice, 23 June 2011
  2. Amnesty International, Mass rape in Walikale: Still a need for protection and justice in eastern Congo, December 2010. See also the Final Report of the Fact-Finding Missions of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office Into the Mass Rapes and Other Human Rights Violations Committed By a Coalition of Armed Groups Along the Kibua-Mpofi Axis in Walikale Territory, North Kivu, from 30 July to 2 August 2010
  3. Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010)
  4. Security Council resolution 1888 (2009) on Women, Peace and Security, paragraphs 4, 5, 8, and 24.
  5. Security Council press statement SC/10016; AFR/2030, “Security Council Press Statement on Democratic Republic of Congo,” 26 August 2010

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