In Geneva, the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on 9 September, published two human rights inquiry reports on separate incidents: the killings perpetrated in Kiwanja on 5 November 2008 by the Forces of the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP, National Congress for People’s Defence) and the human rights violations committed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in Goma and Kanyabayonga in October and November 2008. The reports give the findings from investigations conducted by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo (UNJHRO).
The report on the abuse committed in Kiwanja by the CNDP is the result of the investigations conducted in November 2008 through early 2009 by the UN Joint Human Rights Office. On 5 November 2008, following fighting between Maï Maï combatants and the CNDP in Kiwanja, the CNDP carried out targeted killings of civilians, mainly young people whom they accused of being members or collaborating with the Maï Maï. The UNJHRO confirmed 67 cases of arbitrary execution committed by the CNDP. The number of victims could be much higher, but the human rights officers could not confirm all allegations received because of security reasons related to the protection of witnesses and other sources of information.
This first report documents the main human rights abuses that were committed and the legal framework that applies to them, as well as the chain of command that was in operation at the time of the perpetration of the abuses. Therein, the UNJHRO formulates several recommendations to the Congolese authorities, the parties to the conflict, and the international community, notably MONUC to improve its capacity to protect civilian populations.
The report on human rights abuses committed by the FARDC in Goma and Kanyabayonga in October-November 2008 deals with a series of serious human rights violations, including lootings, killings and attacks on physical integrity of civilians, committed in Goma and several other towns and villages in the territory of Lubero, including Kanyabayonga, by FARDC elements as they retreated during fighting in North Kivu between the CNDP and the FARDC in October and November 2008.