UN to Rebel Groups in the DRC: You’re Mean, Now Turn Yourselves In!

Remember all that violence that broke out and ultimately led to Laurent Nkunda’s arrest in the DRC back last November? Well, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Mission to the Congo just released a a joint-briefing about what actually took place.  According to the report, it really sucked, and:

The fact that killings took place simultaneously in several different areas of Kiwanja and that they were preceded, days before the events, by public warnings by CNDP authorities that in case of Mayi Mayi attack, the population would be held responsible may suggest that, at least to a certain extent, the ‘operation ratissage’ was retaliatory in nature and ordered and condoned by the command of the CNDP.

Or, in other words, the CNDP orchestrated the strategic movement of forces and violence that radically altered the landscape of political control in North Kivu. And, as this happened, the Mayi-Mayi rebels freaked out and started killing a lot of civilians as they ceded land to the CNDP. So, what to do? Turn yourselves in of course! The primary recommendation to all primary actors:

Ascertain the identify of participants in the Kiwanja battled, in particular of those who are suspected of having committed serious human rights violations and international crimes… And, refer the perpetrators to the Congolese judiciary (or the International Criminal Court), and provide full cooperation to relevant authorities to investigate and prosecute them.

Nothing quite like a UN investigation that takes 10 months to pull together evidence that the rebel groups who caused violence are structured organizations with a formalized command system and produce a report that ultimately asks them to kindly turn themselves in. UN, you outdo yourself every time!

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