UN mission in DR Congo to suspend support to two battalionsListen /
The UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) has announced that it is starting a process of ending support to two Congolese army battalions implicated in human rights violations.
MONUSCO says there have been several human rights investigation missions to Minova, North Kivu, and surrounding villages conducted between December 2012 and February 2013.
According the mission, the information gathered in those missions shows the involvement of the two battalions in mass rapes and other human rights violations committed in late November 2012.
The violations were reportedly carried out when the Congolese soldiers belonging to the two Battalions retreated from Goma, the provincial capital, as M23 rebels moved to take it over.
Martin Nesirky is UN Spokesperson in New York.
"As a result, in line with the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy, on 4 February, MONUSCO addressed a letter to the Congolese Armed Forces Chief of Staff to initiate the formal suspension of support to these two units. On 18 February, the mission has sent a second and final injunction to the Congolese Chief of Staff. MONUSCO is continuing to advocate with Congolese authorities at the highest level to ensure that the alleged perpetrators, including FARDC commanders, be brought to justice and held accountable." (34")
MONUSCO says it will continue with other partners to support Congolese judicial authorities to pursue their investigations and offer its support for an eventual trial to be held.
Donn Bobb, United Nations