The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country which has been politically unstable for some time and is the scene of many acts of violence and clashes between governing and local militia factions for control of the area.
Despite the recent re-election of the outgoing President Kabila, the political situation of the country remains unstable and the rule of law as uncertain as ever. As usual, the civil population is paying the price. The list of the victims of the ‘African world war’, as some have baptised it, now numbers around a million, while mass rapes have become a regular feature in this part of Africa.
This crisis situation is exacerbated, amongst other things, by the constant influx of arms from many parts of the world to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A recent Amnesty International report denounced the ease with which the Congolese factions, whether governing or not, manage to procure arms.
Over the last few years, light arms, munitions, tear gas, armoured vehicles, artillery and mortars have been sent to the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This constant flow contributes directly to the increase in human rights violations, not to mention killings, in the country. The weakness of the Congolese security forces results in these munitions ending up outside their control and in other hands, where they are used for all sorts of violation.
The embargo on arms going to the Democratic Republic of the Congo imposed by the Security Council in 2003 was relaxed in 2008. Since then there has no longer been any obligation to concentrate imported arms at authorised sites and, in particular, no longer any limitation on the supply of arms to units not integrated into the Fardc (Congolese Armed Forces) or to those units whose integration has not yet been completed.
Can the Vice-President/High Representative please reply to the following questions?
1. Are you aware of the cases of systematic human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
2. What rulings and actions can be undertaken to create a controlled flow of arms, limited solely to the government’s armed forces?
3. What initiatives do you intend to adopt to encourage the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?