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EU demands an end to 'impunity' and violence in eastern DRC

EU demands an end to 'impunity' and violence in eastern DRC

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) on Wednesday demanded for an end to the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and perpetrators to be brought to book.

In a resolution voted on Thursday after Wednesday’s debate, the MEPs called for an end to the conflict which which has escalated violence as dozens of armed groups are actively operating and killing several people.

“All parties need to put an end to the violence, lay down their arms, release all children from their ranks and promote dialogue … There can be no impunity for perpetrators,” the resolution declared.

They also condemned the “indifference from the international community and the media silence” calling on them to launch investigation into the reported massacres.

“The international community should launch as a matter of urgency a thorough, independent and transparent investigation into the massacres and organise an emergency meeting of the Team of International Envoys and Representatives for the Great Lakes region of Africa on elections in the DRC to progress in this direction,” the resolution added.

The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC has said in a statement on Thursday that rate of human rights violations in the country remains alarming.

The UN Human Rights office has identified 384 cases of human rights violations in May which is an increase from 366 in April. The eastern region remains the most affected with about 243 abuses.

Members of the European Parliament have earlier in June, together with MPs from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries condemned the political violence in the DRC and called for a timely election.

They stated however that President Kabila’s silence on the end of his two-term mandate as per the Congolese Constitution is “exacerbating political tensions in the country”.

The Eastern part of DRC has been plagued for two decades by chronic instability caused by local and foreign armed groups who have perpetrated ethnic violence while fighting for mineral resources.

MEPs urged the EU to uphold mandatory due diligence checks on suppliers of conflict minerals into ambitious legislation to be adopted swiftly and to ensure “coherence between its policies, including in arms trade and raw materials trade”.