OHCHR / DRC HUMAN RIGHTS PRESSER

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05-Jun-2020 00:01:46
The number of victims has soared in recent weeks as separate conflicts have spread in three eastern provinces of the DRC. Armed groups have committed massacres and other atrocities, and defence and security forces have also been responsible for grave human rights violations, according to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR). UNTV CH

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STORY: OHCHR / DRC HUMAN RIGHTS PRESSER
TRT: 1:46
SOURCE: UNTV CH
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 05 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

RECENT

1. Wide shot, UN Geneva across Geneva lake

05 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“1,300 civilians have been killed in a number of separate conflicts involving armed groups and government forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some of the incidents involving killings and other abuses and violations may amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes.”

RECENT

3. Wide shot, UN Geneva

05 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“As we have documented CODECO and other Lendu fighters have pursued a strategy of slaughtering local residents—mainly the Hema, but also the Alur—since 2017, and that is in order to control the natural resources in the region.”

RECENT

5. Wide shot, UN Geneva

05 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“In North Kivu—the launch of military operations by the government forces in November 2019 led to retaliatory attacks against civilians by the main armed group, the ADF. By 31 May this year, the ADF had killed at least 514 civilians using machetes, axes and heavy weapons, and has been abducting children and attacking schools and hospitals. State defence forces have also been heavily implicated, with the FARDC reported to have killed 59 civilians and the police the PNC to have killed 24. More than 400,000 people have been displaced in North Kivu.”

RECENT

7. Wide shot, UN Geneva

05 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Protection of civilians is the responsibility of the state, and when the state leaves a vacuum, others tend to fill it. In DRC, past experience shows this can have catastrophic results. The generalised and systematic nature of some of the attacks on civilians in both Ituri and North Kivu may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

RECENT

9. Wide shot, UN Geneva

STORYLINE:

At a virtual press briefing in Geneva, Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights updated journalists on the latest developments in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The number of victims has soared in recent weeks as separate conflicts in three eastern provinces – Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu – have spread. Armed groups have committed massacres and other atrocities, and defence and security forces have also been responsible for grave human rights violations in these provinces - as well as in other parts of the country.

SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“1,300 civilians have been killed in a number of separate conflicts involving armed groups and government forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some of the incidents involving killings and other abuses and violations may amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes.

In Ituri Province, the violence has spread into new areas as armed groups have multiplied. The principal armed group continues to be CODECO, comprised mainly of fighters from the Lendu community.

SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“As we have documented CODECO and other Lendu fighters have pursued a strategy of slaughtering local residents—mainly the Hema, but also the Alur—since 2017, and that is in order to control the natural resources in the region.”

The attacks and the nature of the violence committed by the armed groups have grown increasingly gruesome, including sexual violence, be-headings and mutilation of corpses.

In Ituri, between 1 October 2019 and 31 May 2020, at least 531 civilians were killed by armed groups in Ituri - 375 of them since March. Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and police (PNC) also allegedly killed 17 civilians during the same period.

SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“In North Kivu—the launch of military operations by the government forces in November 2019 led to retaliatory attacks against civilians by the main armed group, the ADF. By 31 May this year, the ADF had killed at least 514 civilians using machetes, axes and heavy weapons, and has been abducting children and attacking schools and hospitals.‘tate defence forces have also been heavily implicated, with the FARDC reported to have killed 59 civilians and the police the PNC to have killed 24. More than 400,000 people have been displaced in North Kivu.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Protection of civilians is the responsibility of the state, and when the state leaves a vacuum, others tend to fill it. In DRC, past experience shows this can have catastrophic results. The generalised and systematic nature of some of the attacks on civilians in both Ituri and North Kivu may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes,”

In South Kivu, at least 74 people have been killed since October. Serious violence and killings have also been taking place in Kongo Central and Kinshasa.
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