Military officers in DR Congo suspended for alleged human rights violations

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National army soldiers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on parade. Photo: IRIN/Eddy Isango

Army officers suspected of committing serious human rights violations in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been suspended, according to the UN mission in the country.

The UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as MONUSCO, says it has been notified formally by the Congolese government of the actions taken to bring the soldiers to justice.

The officers are implicated in the mass rapes that took place in Minova in November 2012 when the Congolese soldiers fled to the town after the M23 rebels captured Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province.

UN Deputy Spokesperson, Eduardo Del Buey has more.

"In its notification, the Government of the DRC reports that it has launched investigations and recorded around 400 testimonies from victims, witnesses and suspects. It adds that several arrests have been made as an interim internal disciplinary measure. The Government also informs that a number of officers allegedly involved in these acts have been suspended and put at the disposal of the Military Prosecutor for the purposes of the investigation. Among these officers are the commanding officers and deputy commanding officers of the two main battalions suspected of committing these acts, as well as officers of eight other units." (32")

MONUSCO says the suspension of the commanding officers is an important signal of the commitment of the Congolese authorities to hold the perpetrators of crimes of sexual violence accountable.

It adds that it will continue to monitor the judicial process.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1’34″

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