with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
on the Democratic Republic of Congo, mass rape in the South Kivu province
Véronique De Keyser, Ana Gomes, Richard Howitt, Thijs Berman, Corina Creţu, Rovana Plumb
on behalf of the S&D Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
European Parliament resolution on the Democratic Republic of Congo, mass rape in the South Kivu province
The European Parliament,
– Having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
– Having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted in 1998, and particularly Articles 7 and 8 thereof, which define rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and forced sterilisation or any form of sexual violence as crimes against humanity and war crimes and equate them with a form of torture and a serious war crime, whether or not such acts are systematically perpetrated during international or internal conflicts,
- Having regard to Council Conclusion of 13 December 2010
- Having regard to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1991 of 28 June 2011 to extend the mandate of MUNOSCO
- Having regard to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1960 (2010)
– Having regard to the UN-sponsored Democratic Republic of Congo Humanitarian Action Plan 2008 of 11 December 2007,
- Having regard to the statement of 23 June 2011 by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström
- Having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. Whereas on 11 June 2011 the UN reported that an armed group of approximately 150 men, formerly integrated into the Congolese army fled their barracks, raping possibly up to 170 women in an attack in the village of Nyakiele near the town of Fizi in the east of the country.
B. Whereas members of this armed group were previously implicated in mass rape in the same area in January 2011.
C. Whereas investigations into atrocities committed in July and August 2010, in which more than 300 women, men, boys and girls were systematically raped in North Kivu, are proceeding slowly.
D. Whereas time and again there has been constant failures and weaknesses in the Congolese justice system, a major obstacle to ensuring truth, justice and reparation for such cases of human rights violations.
E. Whereas the inability of the Democratic Republic of Congo to bring to justice members of its own army and armed groups for crimes under international law, has fostered a culture of impunity, leading to numerous attacks against innocent civilians
F. Whereas some 1.738 million people remain displaced in the DRC including 1.25 million in North and South Kivu as a direct result of such violence and intimidation.
1. Condemns in the strongest possible terms, attacks against civilians, sexual and gender based violence, forced displacements and extrajudicial executions in the DRC.
2. Calls for immediate, independent and impartial investigations to be carried out into the events of 11 June 2011 in accordance with international standards and, where there is sufficient evidence, prosecution of those responsible without use of the death penalty.
3. Calls on the government of the DRC to immediately take effective measures to ensure the protection of victims and witnesses during and after such investigations. Expects authorities in the DRC to provide medical and trauma counseling to the victims without delay.
4. Underlines that Congolese leadership is needed to signal that it flatly rejects sexual violence and that combating such crimes are one of it's utmost priority.Calls on the government of the DRC to ensure that sexual violence is not used as a tool of political intimidation in the run up to elections later this year.
5. Reiterates the need for significant reforms in the DRC's security forces, including significantly improved vetting of ex combatants into the national army and better co-ordination of donor efforts. Expresses its grave concern about the promotion of individuals within the army known for human rights abuses.
6. Welcomes the UN Security Council decision to renew the mandate of UN peacekeepers in the DRC, stresses that the MONUSCO must be equipped with appropriate resources to protect civilians from attacks especially in the eastern provinces and improve monitoring and reporting of sexual violence. Calls on the EU to play a key role in following up such incidents.
7. Condemns the detention of Agostinho Chicaia, former chair of the Civic Association of Cabinda "Mpalabanda", who is of Angolan nationality and was arrested by DRC security forces on 20 June 2011, at the airport of Kinshasa, when he was travelling for professional reasons as an expert at the service of the UN; Urges his immediate release and reminds the DRC authorities of their obligation to protect human rights defenders and state clearly what are the circumstances and the legal grounds for Mr Chicaia’s detention.
8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the governments of the EU Member States, the governments of the DRC and of the Great Lakes countries, the African Union institutions and the UN Secretary-General, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the HR/VP of the European Union.