Thursday, 23 June 2016

Stop massacres in eastern Congo and bring perpetrators to justice, urge MEPs

Stop massacres in eastern Congo and bring perpetrators to justice, urge MEPs

23/06/2016

Northern Kivu: On 24 December 2015, discovery of 8 
headless bodies in Beni

MEPs urge all parties fighting in north-eastern Congo to put an “end to the violence, lay down their arms, release all children from their ranks and promote dialogue” towards a peaceful solution, in a resolution voted on Thursday, after a debate on Wednesday. "There can be no impunity for perpetrators", they add.

Concerned at the "escalation of violence and the alarming and deteriorating humanitarian situation" in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where "dozens of armed groups remain active, recruiting and using children, with numerous reports of massacres", MEPs call on all parties to the conflict to end it. They also denounce the "indifference from the international community and the media silence", in a resolution passed by show of hands.

"Impunity needs to be fought" and "perpetrators brought to justice", MEPs urged in the plenary debate. 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, they add.

MEPs also urge the EU to "translate the recently agreed European understanding concerning 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".

At the 31st ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly session on 13-15 June, MEPs and MPs from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries unanimously approved a resolution which condemns all acts of political violence and calls for a "successful and timely holding of elections, which will be crucial to the long-term stability and development of the country and the entire region".

In both texts, MEPs highlighted that President Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, is required to step down on 20 December 2016 as the mandate of the President of the DRC is limited under the Congolese Constitution to only two terms. By not yet having declared that he will do so, he is exacerbating political tensions in the country.

European Parliament news
PLENARY SESSION Press release - External relations
REF. : 20160622IPR33209