Enhanced Protection Urgently Needed Due to Disastrous Toll on Civilian Populations
The Congolese government’s military operation in eastern Congo, Kimia II, backed by United Nations peacekeepers and aimed at neutralizing the threat from a Rwandan Hutu militia group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), has resulted in an unacceptable cost for the civilian population, said 84 humanitarian and human rights groups in the Congo Advocacy Coalition today.
The coalition urged diplomats and UN officials, who are due to meet in Washington, DC, this week to discuss the situation in eastern Congo and the wider region, to take immediate steps to increase protection for civilians.
“The human rights and humanitarian consequences of the current military operation are simply disastrous,” said Marcel Stoessel of Oxfam. “UN peacekeepers, who have a mandate to protect civilians, urgently need to work with government forces to make sure civilians get the protection they need or discontinue their support.”