OHCHR / BACHELET DRC KILLINGS REAX

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05-Jun-2020 00:01:56
UN Human Rights chief, Michelle Bachelet called on the DRC authorities “to do their utmost” to deploy its security forces in the areas of conflict “to ensure they protect civilians, rather than prey on them.” OHCHR /MONUSCO

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STORY: OHCHR / BACHELET DRC KILLINGS REAX
TRT: 1:56
SOURCE: OHCHR /MONUSCO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 4 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND /JANUARY-MARCH 2020, BUNIA, DRC

SHOTLIST:

MONUSCO – JANUARY 2020, BUNIA, DRC

1. Wide shot, UN plane on tarmac
2. Tracking shot, Bachelet and delegation walking
3. Various shots, Bachelet listening to victims in IDP camp

OHCHR - 4 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I was appalled by the atrocities I heard first-hand from these civilians in the camp in Bunia. Children, mothers brutally attacked, wounded maimed and killed. These people are being chased from their homes, fleeing the armed groups, and receiving no protection from the military and police forces who have also committed grave violations.”

MONUSCO – JANUARY 2020, BUNIA, DRC

5. Wide shot, nun showing wounds on a victim:
6. Tracking shot, man with scar over face

OHCHR – MARCH 2020, BUNIA, DRC

7. Various shots, displaced in camp

OHCHR - 4 JUNE 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I call on the authorities to do their utmost to introduce or expand the presence of security forces in the areas of conflict to ensure they protect civilians, rather than prey on them. Protection of civilians is the responsibility of the State, and when the State leaves a vacuum, it puts these communities at great risk. In DRC, past experience shows this can have catastrophic results. Some of these attacks and killings of civilians in the eastern provinces may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

OHCHR – MARCH 2020, BUNIA, DRC

9. Various shots, displaced in camp

MONUSCO – JANUARY 2020, BUNIA, DRC

10. Various shots, Bachelet listening to victims in IDP camp
11. Various Bachelet meeting UN stuff

STORYLINE:

Around 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 over the past eight months. Some of these incidents may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to a UN Human Rights report published on 10 January 2020 and updated on 27 May.

In three eastern provinces – Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu - armed groups have committed atrocities and massacres, and security forces have been also responsible for grave human rights violations.

As documented in the UN report, the principal armed group continues to be CODECO, whose fighters, drawn from the Lendu community, have pursued a strategy of slaughtering local residents – mainly the Hema, but also the Alur – since 2017, in order to control the natural resources in the region.

In January, the United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, visited the north-eastern province of Ituri and met some of the victims in a refugee camp in the province’s capital Bunia.

SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I was appalled by the atrocities I heard first-hand from these civilians in the camp in Bunia. Children, mothers brutally attacked, wounded maimed and killed. These people are being chased from their homes, fleeing the armed groups, and receiving no protection from the military and police forces who have also committed grave violations.”

More than 400,000 people have been displaced in the neighbouring province of North Kivu. The launch of military operations by government forces in November 2019 led to retaliatory attacks against civilians by the main armed group there, the ADF, which by 31 May had killed at least 514 civilians using machetes, axes and heavy weapons. The group has also been abducting children and attacking schools and hospitals.

SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I call on the authorities to do their utmost to introduce or expand the presence of security forces in the areas of conflict to ensure they protect civilians, rather than prey on them. Protection of civilians is the responsibility of the State, and when the State leaves a vacuum, it puts these communities at great risk. In DRC, past experience shows this can have catastrophic results. Some of these attacks and killings of civilians in the eastern provinces may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

There is a serious risk that these communities will form self-defence groups, in the absence of State security forces, which will further contribute to the violence against innocent civilians. The High Commissioner urged the authorities to launch credible independent investigations and ensure that victims and their families have the right to justice, truth and reparations.
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