Sommaire: 17 December 2009, Strasbourg - Massacres and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are deplored in the "strongest possible terms" in a resolution approved by Parliament on Thursday. MEPs also deplore the recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence perpetrated by rebel forces, members of the Congolese army and civilians.
Perpetrators of such abuses should be brought to justice, and the activity of armed foreign groups in eastern DRC, in particular the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and troops of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), should be brought to a swift end, says the resolution, which underlines the need to allow MONUC (the UN operation in DRC) to carry out its mandate in full.
Parliament calls for an immediate end to the violence and human rights abuses in DRC and remains extremely concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation in eastern DRC. It backs the appeal by the UN on 30 November 2009 to raise $7.1 billion for humanitarian work in 2010 and urges all Member States to contribute their fair share.
Parliament is concerned at reports of deliberate killings by Congolese soldiers of at least 270 civilians in the towns of Nyabiondo and Pinga in North Kivu and by recent ethnic clashes which have forced 115,000 people to flee their homes in the Western Equateur province.
Conflict in the DRC has claimed the lives of 5,400,000 people since 1998 and is still causing, directly or indirectly, as many as 45,000 deaths every month. There are some 1,460,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the DRC, including 980,000 in North Kivu.
The arrest of Ignace Murrwanashyaka, President of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) and his deputy, Straton Musoni by German authorities, is a step towards addressing impunity, says the resolution.
UN operation to be maintained and beefed up
The UN force in the DRC (MONUC) remains vital and the mission should have the means to carry out its mandate in full, say MEPs. According to its mandate, MONUC can use all necessary means to deter any attempted use of force by any foreign or Congolese armed group that seeks to threaten the political process. MONUC is currently the largest UN peacekeeping mission with a total of 20,000 soldiers present, mainly in North and South Kivu, costing around $1.4 billion a year.
The United Nations has recently suspended logistical assistance and operational support to certain units of the Congolese army amid allegations that its troops killed dozens of civilians, including women and children, in the North Kivu district between May and September 2009.