ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo: The UN human rights office in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Friday it knows of 23 mass graves in the central Kasai part of the country, an area where a militia has been clashing with the army and police for several months.
"We documented 23 mass grave sites in different localities: Nkoto, Kabeya, Nguema and Tshimbulu. And this information has been shared with the major judicial, civil and military authorities," said José-Maria Aranaz, head of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), in a statement on UN radio in the country.
“The situation is very worrying. We need to bring this to light. We must bring to justice those responsible for the killing that has happened and continues to happen.
We are concerned,” he added. He urged the involvement of the African Union and other international organizations alongside the Congolese government in investigating the killings to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Since last August, severe clashes between Kamuina Nsapu militiamen and police have resulted in hundreds of deaths. Last February, a video showing suspected Congolese soldiers killing poorly armed militiamen went viral and attracted international condemnation.
Two UN workers who went to investigate the killings were kidnapped and killed.