Ten years ago, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published the report of its human rights mapping exercise on Congo. The report covers the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in the country between March 1993 and June 2003.
Reportedly, more than 12 million Congolese died as a direct or indirect result of the conflicts, thousands of girls and women have been victims of sexual violence and around six million people displaced.
But none of the crimes have been brought to trial, a sad state of affairs that has been strongly denounced by the Congolese citizens , such as Dr Denis Mukwege, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The report documents 617 violent incidents, covering all provinces, and describes the role of all the main Congolese and foreign parties responsible – including military or armed groups from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and Angola. The mapping team’s 550-page report contains descriptions of 617 alleged violent incidents occurring in the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003. Most of these incidents points to the possible commission of gross violations of human rights and/or international humanitarian law, crimes against humanity and even genocide, if proven in an appropriate court of laws.
On the surface, it may appear to some that violent conflicts have ended and that the peace process is well ongoing. Sadly, no. The conflict is still going on, manifesting itself in new – even more dramatic – ways as the international community and DRC authorities turn their backs on the “wounds of the past” and the ongoing killings in Kivu, Ituri, and unreported crimes in other parts of the country.
In this context, the culture and practice of impunity remains the rule, accountability seems a far-reaching goal, while justice and reconciliation stand for mirage. Increasing awareness, reducing silence or indifference and mobilizing both the DRC civil social and authorities on one hand, and the Congolese diaspora and the international community on the other hands, while reflecting on peace, justice and reconciliation, are the purposes of this webinar.
To this end, we have three panelists, Dr, Du Toit, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South-Africa, who is going to talk about peace and reconciliation, based on the experience of south Africa. Mr. Kambale Musavuli of Center for Research on the Congo, is going to share with us the contribution of the DRC diaspora of Northern America to this concern of the Mapping Report. Mr Vava Tampa of the Save the Congo, will be taking about the contribution of the DRC diaspora in the UK.