Human Rights Monthly Assessment: February 2008
|Publisher||UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC)|
|Publication Date||16 April 2008|
|Cite as||UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), Human Rights Monthly Assessment: February 2008, 16 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4832a9312.html [accessed 29 March 2015]|
Human Rights Division / MONUC
16 apr. 08 - 10.28h
SUMMARY: The Representative of the Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Mr. Walter Kälin paid a ten-day working visit to the DRC. He called upon governmental authorities to speedily enact a legislative framework for the protection of IDPs; On 6 February 2008, Mathieu Ngudjolo, former senior commander of the FNI, was arrested by the DRC authorities and handed over to the ICC; A round-table meeting held on Security Sector reform (SSR) in Kinshasa on 25-26 February adopted a UNHRO recommendation for a vetting process to be implemented in the DRC security forces;
The UNHRO observed a substantial increase in the number of human rights violations committed by the PNC, especially in Kasaï Oriental; The Serge Maheshe murder appeal trial commenced before the Bukavu Military Court in South-Kivu; The Mbandaka Military Court in Lifumba Waka (350 km northeast of Mbandaka), pronounced its verdict in the case of 6 PNC officers implicated in mass rape and other serious human rights violations (torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest, looting) perpetrated between 17 and 19 March 2006 in different localities of Lifumba Groupement; Twenty one (21) inmates died of dysentery or malnutrition in prisons across the country, including 18 from the Mbuji Mayi Central prison whereas thirty one (31) inmates escaped from various prisons and places of detention throughout the DRC;
Political, Social and Security Developments
1. During the reporting period, the overall political situation was marked by the establishment, through a presidential decree, of a national programme for the security, pacification, stabilization and reconstruction of the provinces of North and South Kivu. The programme is entitled AMANI (Peace in Swahili) and is aimed at implementing the recommendations of the Goma Conference.
On 21 February 2008, the CNDP unilaterally suspended its participation in all meetings related to the implementation of the Goma process, in protest against the preliminary findings of a MONUC investigation that indicated that CNDP elements had perpetrated a massacre of at least 30 civilians at Kalonge, Territory of Masisi. Some Mayi-Mayi groups in North-Kivu also threatened to withdraw from the Goma process, due to the alleged security threats against them from both the CNDP and the individuals affiliated with the GoDRC, the marginalization of their groups during the Goma process and lack of financial support from the Government.
2. The Magistrates' union expressed discontent over the signing of seven presidential ordonnances related to the judiciary, by which 28 magistrates, most notably a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Prosecutor-General, were appointed, whereas 89 were forced to go into retirement based on age or years of service. Magistrates observed a one-week strike to protest against these nominations to the judiciary whereas Magistrates of the Supreme Court and of the Parquet Général de la République filed a motion invoking the unconstitutionality of these ordonnances.
On 11 February 2008, the same magistrates had sent a letter to the President of the Republic in which they indicated their grievances and concerns regarding theses ordonnances. A number of local NGOs released a Note technique calling for the withdrawal of these controversial ordonnances. The UNHRO has made representation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of Judges and Lawyers.
3. On 25-26 February 2008, a round table on security sector reform was held in Kinshasa. During the two-day meeting, strategic plans concerning the reform of the Congolese army, police and judicial system were presented and discussed and recommendations, including one on the vetting process formulated by the UNHRO, were made.
4. During the reporting period, the security climate was plagued by an armed confrontation between FARDC commandos and CNDP ex-combatants undergoing brassage at the Baka Base in Kamina on 17 February 2008. The incident resulted in a total of 27 injured, including 16 CBR (Centre de Brassage et de Recyclage) recruits and 10 FARDC commandos.
A reliable source indicated that in Bas-Congo, Bundu Dia Kongo (BDK) elements removed official representatives of public services in the Mongo Luala sector, in the Territory of Luozi and replaced them with their own appointees, and further installed offices in Kundi, Kingoyi, Kikwangu and Filinga villages (Mongo Luala sector). The same sources added that BDK members were implicated in numerous cases of illegal interrogations, arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and other abuses.
5. In the Territory of Dungu, Haut-Uele District, Oriental Province, the LRA intensified its operations, which were characterized by alleged widespread rape, violations of the right to movement and looting. Despite the signing of the Goma Acte d'Engagement for Peace, Security and Development of South and North Kivus Provinces, the ceasefire continued to be violated. On 10 February 2008, fighting continued between the CNDP and PARECO in the territory of Masisi, resulting in population displacement in the region.
6. In compliance with the Acte d'Engagement of the Kivus Peace Conference, on 22 February 2008, the Council of Ministers adopted a draft law on amnesty for acts of war and insurrection in North and South Kivu, covering the period from June 2003 to the date of the promulgation of the law. It is worth mentioning that this amnesty does not include war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide. The draft law is expected to be submitted shortly to the Parliament.
7. In Brussels, on 21 February 2008, the European Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution to express "deep outrage at the massacres and crimes against humanity" that have taken place during the past 18 months in North-Kivu. The European Parliament urged the national and international authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice and take all measures to ensure that no further attacks on the civilian population of North Kivu will occur. The European Parliament also called for zero tolerance for sexual violence against girls and women.
Human Rights Developments and Concerns
Visit of the Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
8. The Representative of the Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Mr. Walter Kälin paid a ten-day (12-22 February 2008) working visit to the DRC. This visit took him to Kinshasa, Goma, Bukavu and Bunia. The RSG/IDPs met with State representatives, including the Vice-President of the National Assembly, the Ministers of Justice and Human Rights, Interior, and Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity. He also held talks with the Directeur du Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Rapporteur of the Independent Electoral Commission, the SRSG, Representatives of the UN Country Team, the Diplomatic Corps, and concerned individuals as well as Representatives of human rights and humanitarian NGOs.
The RSG/IDPs called upon governmental authorities to commit themselves to protecting the IDPs by speedily enacting a legislative framework for the protection of the IDPs. He also urged the GoDRC to guarantee incorporation into national legislation of the Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to IDPs contained in the Nairobi Pact of 15 December 2006 on Security, Stability, and Development on the Great Lakes Region. He further called on the international community, including UN agencies to assist the GoDRC in fulfilling its international obligations with regard to IDPs. The RSG/IDPS will be presenting a report during the 7th ordinary session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, in March 2008.
Implication of the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) in human rights violations
9. Monitoring activities by the UNHRO indicated that FARDC were implicated in 45 cases of human rights violations across the country, including eight cases of violation of the right to life, eight cases of cruel inhumane and degrading treatment and twenty nine cases of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention. There has been a recurrence of serious human rights violations, including violations of the right to life, committed by soldiers of the 2nd Integrated Brigade since their deployment in North-Kivu.
The UNHRO was able to establish the identity of eight civilians, including three children, killed by the 2nd Integrated Brigade in the village of Musezero (50 km northwest of Goma) on 2 January 2008. According to the first preliminary report, all interrogated witnesses stated that besides the eight killed; one person was still missing while two survived. The Military Prosecutor has sought the assistance of MONUC in order to conduct an investigation into the killings. On 6 December 2007, elements of the 2nd Integrated Brigade were also allegedly responsible for the abduction of five shepherd boys in Kazuba, Rutshuru territory.
A commander of the 1st Battalion allegedly ordered his men to shoot the cattle. The children were taken to two different camps. One of five survived, one was killed and the remaining three have been missing, most probably also killed. The Office of the Military Prosecutor has opened an investigation into the case. Three suspects have so far been arrested whilst six others are still on the run.
10. In Ituri, on 8 February 2008, a civilian and his five-month pregnant wife were allegedly shot dead by two FARDC soldiers attached to the 1st Batallion of the 1st Integrated Brigade in the neighborhood of Gamba 1, Mahagi. On 28 February 2008, a woman and her 12-month baby were allegedly arrested and detained by the Military Prosecutor in Kolwezi, Katanga Province, simply because she is the sister-in-law of the owner of a residence that he attempted to occupy illegally the day before.
11. In a positive development, In Kasaï Oriental, during the period under review, in compliance with the decision of the Defense Minister, a FARDC/MONUC Follow-up Committee was installed in Mbuji Mayi to examine, review and follow-up on human rights violations committed by FARDC soldiers. Similar committees are expected to be set up in all 11 provinces.
Implication of the National Congolese Police (PNC) in human rights violations
12. During the reporting period, the UNHRO continued to observe a marked increase in arbitrary arrests and illegal detention perpetrated by the PNC throughout the country, most notably in Kasaï Oriental Province. The PNC was implicated in 128 cases of human rights violations, including four violations of the right to life, one case of rape, 22 violations of the right to physical integrity as well as 101 cases of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention, including 15 cases involving minors.
13. In Katanga, on 21 February 2008, an artisanal miner was allegedly shot dead by a policeman attached to the Mining office in Kalukalanga (28 km of Lubumbashi). The victim did not have enough money to pay the entry fees into the local mining site. In another incident, in Kasaï Oriental, on 11 February 2008, a civilian was extorted and shot dead in his private residence by a group of seven armed men, including a PNC officer attached to the GMI (Groupe Mobile d'Intervention) in Mbuji Mayi.
14. In Kinshasa, on 29 February 2008, a detainee was subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment by a police officer attached to the Lufungula police station. The victim received 20 blows before around 100 other detainees. Two MONUC Human Rights officers were ordered to leave the PNC premises when they attempted to enquire into the incident.
15. In a positive development, on 11 February 2008, in line with the Minister of Interior's Circular, a PNC Follow-up Committee was installed in Goma to examine, review and follow-up on human rights violations committed by PNC elements in North-Kivu Province.
Implication of other security services in human rights violations
16. During the month under review, security services, including the RG, the ANR and the DSF were responsible for cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions of civilians, including those suspected of having certain political affiliations. In Kinshasa, on 16 February 2008, security services launched a cordon and search operation in the private residence of a founding member of the Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC).
His wife and sister as well as six other persons present at the house were arrested and interrogated by the PIR (Police d'Intervention Rapide) and the ANR (Agence Nationale de Renseignements). They were released between 16 and 17 February 2008. Security services told MONUC that they suspected him of "spreading rumours".
17. In an unrelated case, in North-Kivu, a member of UDPS/Goma (Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social), opposition party, was arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained by the ANR on 8 February 2008 on the grounds that he had discussed politics with the local citizens. He was released on 13 February 2008 upon UNHRO intervention. The victim claimed that he was subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment during his detention at the local ANR holding cell.
18. In Province Orientale, on 11 February 2008, three civilians were arbitrarily arrested, illegally detained, extorted and subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment by the Republican guard at the Bangboka Airport. The UNHRO was not granted access to the local GR holding cell, despite a formal request submitted to the 9th Military Region.
In an unrelated case, on 5 February 2008, a group of 30 civilians were arrested and detained in the local ANR holding cell following a demonstration at the central market in Kisangani. In North-Kivu, on 15 February 2008, a 60-year-old man was allegedly arrested and illegally detained in a private residence by the DSF (Direction de la Sécurité des Frontières) in Mabambi. The victim was arrested for debt and also subjected to forced labor while in custody.
Implication of armed groups in human rights abuses
19. Armed groups, including the CNDP and the LRA were allegedly responsible for a number of violations of the right to life and physical integrity in North-Kivu and Province Orientale. The results of a MONUC investigation indicate that on 16 and 17 January 2008, in the vicinity of Kalonge, at least 30 persons were killed in several incidents by CNDP elements using firearms, machetes and hammers.
The killings were planned and civilians were deliberately targeted. Based on testimony gathered so far, the likely motive for the killings is the fact that the victims had left a CNDP-held area to seek refuge in an area controlled by PARECO (Patriotes Résistants Congolais). On 21 February 2008, the CNDP rejected these findings and subsequently requested the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry.
20. Based on eyewitness accounts, it is alleged that at the end of January 2008, 15 CNDP elements dressed in military uniform abducted 15 civilians from Kitchanga to force them to carry their belongings to Bwiza, three kilometers away. At least one of them was a victim of genital mutilation after he was found with a demobilization ID card in his trousers and accused of not wanting to be recruited by the CNDP. On 21 February, the CNDP publicly rejected these allegations.
21. On 12 February 2008, three civilians, including a local chief, his wife and another woman, were allegedly killed by LRA combatants near Doruma, Province Orientale. In another case, in North-Kivu, on 23 February 2008, a member of a local NGO involved in the demobilization of CAAGs (Children associated with Armed Groups), was reportedly abducted by CNDP in the area of Bihambwe, in Masisi territory.
Administration of justice / Fight against impunity
22. During the reporting period, some positive developments were observed in the fight against impunity. On 6 February 2008, Mathieu Ngudjolo, former senior commander of the FNI (Front Nationaliste et Intégrationniste), was arrested by the DRC authorities and surrendered to the ICC.
He is charged with six counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity, notably murders, inhuman acts, sexual slavery, cruel treatment, using children to participate actively in hostilities, launching an attack against the civilian population of Bogoro and pillaging. The landmark aspect of this arrest is that the suspect was arrested while in liberty.
23. In Province Orientale, on 21-22 February 2008, two Mayi Mayi combatants allegedly implicated in the mass rape that took place in Lieke Lesole- Opala territory, in July 2007, were arrested by FARDC soldiers for illegal possession of weapons and ammunitions. In another development, on 29 February 2008, the High Military Court rejected a motion of recusal filed by a victim against three judges currently sitting in the Kilwa appeal trial.
In an unrelated development, on 1st March, arrest warrants were issued by military justice officials to ensure the continued detention by MONUC of former Ituri warlord, Chief Kahwa who was acquitted on charges of criminal conspiracy, wanton arson, murders, assassination arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, misappropriation of public funds, by the Kisangani Court of Appeal on 15 February. Chef Kahwa's continued detention is in relation to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity that he is facing.
24. On 18 February 2008, in Lifumba Waka (350 km northeast of Mbandaka), Equateur Province, the Mbandaka Military Tribunal pronounced its verdict in the case of 6 PNC officers implicated in mass rape and other serious human rights violations (torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest, looting) perpetrated between 17 and 19 March 2006 in different localities of Lifumba Groupement. One was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for crimes against humanity in conformity with article 7 of the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court.
Two of the six accused were sentenced to six months for extortion and looting but were released as they had already spent nine months in pre-trial detention. Three of them got a five-year sentence for arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture. All accused were also ordered to pay in solidum with the State, $ 30.000 US in damages to the victim of sexual violence resulted in murder; $ 5.000 US each to the victims of sexual violence; $ 600 to $ 2000 US each to the victims of torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest, extortion and looting. Some victims of sexual violence indicated that they would lodge an appeal.
25. In Province Orientale, on 15 February 2008, the Appeal Court of Kisangani acquitted Chief Kahwa, a former militia leader in Ituri, of criminal conspiracy, wanton arson, murders, assassination arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, misappropriation of public funds, claiming that the charges were covered by the Décret-Loi N* 03/001 of 15 April 2003 granting amnesty for war acts committed between 2 August 1998 and 4 April 2003.
The Court subsequently ordered his release. The UNHRO recalls that the Amnesty law explicitly excludes genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes from its scope of applicability. As the charges against Kahwa included multiple assassinations of civilians, which could amount to crimes against humanity, the decision of the Court set a dangerous precedent.
26. On 6 February 2008, the Serge Maheshe murder appeal trial commenced before the Bukavu Military Court. Only seven of the 12 co-accused appeared in Court. The trial was adjourned to 13 February 2008 forty-five minutes later on the grounds that the remaining co-accused as well as members of the family of the victim had not been duly notified of the hearing and also because two of the co-defendants were neither present nor represented by counsel. Seven of the co-defendants were present when the trial resumed on 20 February 2008.
The Prosecution called upon the Court to hear only the cases of two of the four convicted men because the power of attorney submitted by the lawyers of the two who had signed the September 2007 retraction letter, was not legally "recevable". Following the objection raised by counsel for the defence on the unconstitutionality of the decision, the Court agreed to give its ruling at the next hearing. The defense also invoked the unconstitutionality of the ratione personae competence of the Court to try civilians. However, the Court argued that under article 133 para 2 of the Law 82-017 on the procedure before the Supreme Court of justice, it can appreciate the constitutionality of legal provisions and decisions submitted for its appreciation.
The Defense Counsel of the two other convicted men (the eyewitnesses to the killing) requested the granting of provisional release to their clients in conformity with article 17 of the Constitution, article 103 of the Penal Law, article 205 of the Military Judicial Code. The Court promised to give its ruling at the resumption of the trial on 5 March 2008.
27. The 26th hearing into the Gédéon trial took place before the Kipushi Military Tribunal in Katanga on 5 February 2008. During the proceedings, Gédéon's lawyer introduced a request for a suspension of the hearing of charges against his client, claiming that Gédéon should be granted amnesty in a similar manner to the members of armed groups operating in the provinces of North and South Kivu, as stipulated in the Acte d'Engagement that was signed on 23 January 2008 in Goma, at the end of the Conference on Peace, Security and Development in North and South Kivu.
28. On 12 February 2008, most of the day's hearing was devoted to the examination of official documents allegedly signed by Gédéon in his role as Mayi Mayi Chief, mainly mission orders (ordres de mission) and Letters of appointment of Battalion and Brigade Commanders. At first, the defendant categorically denied having signed the above-mentioned documents but later admitted to having signed a mission order for one of his Lieutenants.
In connection with the defendant's request for amnesty that was made at the 5 February 2008 hearing, the Tribunal advised him to submit a written request in accordance with the standard procedure. On 19 February 2008, Gédéon surprised everyone by stating that he had not requested amnesty. During the hearing, a video provided by MONUC on the involvement and recruitment of children into Gédéon's armed group in Mitwaba, was shown. The video also depicted a number of atrocities, including murders, cannibalism, looting, committed by these children. The trial was adjourned to 4 March 2008.
29. During the month in review, monitoring activities revealed eleven new cases of sexual violence throughout the country. In six cases, the alleged perpetrators were PNC elements, FARDC soldiers and an official of the territorial administration and members of armed groups. In four cases, the alleged perpetrators were arrested whereas one escaped and another was released by the Office of the Military Prosecutor. Five of the victims were minors.
In North-Kivu, on 11 February 2008, a minor was allegedly raped by a PNC Commander in Kyondo (85 km southwest of Beni). The case was transferred to the PNC HQ in Oicha. In Kasaï Occidental, on 9 February 2008, a civilian, accused of raping a five-year old girl, was granted bail by the Office of the Public Prosecutor, in violation of article 7 bis of the new laws on sexual violence.
30. In North-Kivu, a three-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a FARDC soldier in the locality of Rwindi, on 26 February 2008. The alleged perpetrator was arrested and detained at the 9th Integrated Brigade HQ. In an unrelated incident, the UNHRO is concerned that a senior administrative official of the Territoire of Luilu (170 km of Mbuji Mayi), who was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl on 23 September 2007, engaged the victim's parents in an out-of-court settlement of the case, and obstructed the administration of justice.
31. In Kasaï Oriental, on 25 February 2008, a PNC officer accused of raping a 14-year-old girl was acquitted by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Mbuji Mayi. The Tribunal ruled that the charge was groundless given that the victim and the alleged perpetrator were seen together in public the day after the incident. The Tribunal also questioned the genuineness of the victim's birth certificate.
32. During the reporting period, the UNHRO noted that interference in the administration of justice by military and political officials continued openly and with complete impunity. Members of the security forces and intelligence services as well as civilians accused of rape in Beni, North-Kivu, the Commune of Masina, Kinshasa as well as in Banalia, (District of La Tshopo), Province Orientale, were released from holding cells due to the intervention of political and military officials.
Human Rights in Prisons and Detention
33. The UNHRO continued to receive reports about sub-standard conditions in prisons and places of detention. Across the country, the UNHRO also observed that a number of prisons, including the Dialala prison in Kolwezi and Aru Prison, were plagued by a severe dysentery outbreak. The dilapidated state of prisons remains the main cause of prison escapes across the country.
The UNHRO has documented a large number of deaths on custody and prison escapes in Uvira, Bunia, Gemena, Kisangani, Gbadolite, Mbandaka, Kalemie, Aru. A total of 21 inmates have died of malnutrition or dysentery while in custody since January 2008 in Uvira, Bunia and Mbuji Mayi prisons whereas 31 inmates, most of whom were charged with rape, escaped from various prisons and detention facilities across the country during the month of February 2008. Only 3 escapees have been captured so far.
34. In Kasaï Oriental, monitoring revealed that between 1 January and 19 February 2008, 18 inmates died of malnutrition in the Mbuji Mayi Central Prison. In Ituri, a suspect who had been detained at the Office of Public Prosecutor holding cell since January 2008 died of dysentery on the night of 21-22 February 2008. In South-Kivu, on 9 February 2008, a pre-trial detainee of the Uvira Central Prison (he was kept for more than 6 months without being arraigned before the judge), died at the local hospital. In Ituri, on 10 February 2008, an inmate, charged with rape, died in the Bunia Central Prison.
35. In Kongolo-350 northwest of Kalemie, North Katanga, a mass escape took place on the night of 25-26 February 2008. According to local sources, the inmates, most of whom were accused of rape, managed to escape by digging a hole through their cell and then jumped over the prison wall. The guards fired shots into the air in order to discourage other inmates from trying to escape. None of the escapees have so far been captured. Preliminary investigation suggests that the prison breakout might have been facilitated by the prison administration or some members of the Tribunal.
36. In Bas-Congo Province, on 25 February 2008, members of the politico-religious movement Bundu Dia Kongo (BDK) stormed the Luozi prison (235 km from Matadi) and set free all the 9 inmates. The BDK members had approached the Parquet secondaire in Luozi earlier in the day demanding the unconditional release of three of their fellow adepts who were serving a-12 month sentence. They stormed the prison in the evening and released all 9 inmates.
Capacity Building and human rights awareness
37. During the month in review, a number of capacity building and human rights awareness activities were carried out in several provinces. In Bas-Congo, on 5 February 2008, the UNHRO conducted a one-day human rights training session on "Human rights monitoring" for the benefit of human rights NGOs operating in Matadi, Boma and Muanda. In Kasaï Oriental, on 13 February 2008, as part of its weekly capacity-building activities, the UNHRO conducted a one-day human rights training session on "project funding" for the leaders of NGOs operating in Mbuji Mayi.
In Maniema Province, on 13-20 February 2008, during a field visit to Lubutu (350 km northeast of Kindu), the UNHRO conducted two human rights training sessions for eleven human rights activists; and 18 PNC elements and four FARDC soldiers respectively. Modules covered included "Introduction to human rights and Torture, cruel inhumane and degrading treatment".
38. In Kasaï Occidental, on 30 January 2008, the UNHRO made a presentation on "Introduction to human rights and the Role of the civil society in preventing and combating sexual violence" at a workshop organized by MONUC/Civil Affairs Section. 120 persons, including 10 human rights leaders operating in Tshikapa and Kamonia, attended the workshop. Still in Kasaï Occidental, on 31 January 2008, the UNHRO in tandem with MONUC/Child Protection Section facilitated a one-day human rights training session on the "new laws on sexual violence" for human rights partners operating in Tshikapa.
39. In Katanga, on 13 February 2008, during a training session organized by UNPOL, the UNHRO made a presentation on the new laws on sexual violence for 36 Judicial Police Officers operating in Kipushi. In Lodja (500 km north of Mbuji Mayi), Kasaï Oriental, on 19-22 February 2008, the UNHRO conducted a four-day human rights training session on "the rights of persons under arrest". Participants included 65 Judicial Police Officers, an OPJ attached to the local ANR and four human rights leaders operating in the region.
40. In Kasaï Occidental, on 12 February 2008, the UNHRO carried out a one-day human rights sensitization program for the benefit of 33 human rights leaders operating in Katende, Territory of Dimbelenge. Special focus was placed on the UDHR, the new laws on sexual violence and the rights of persons under arrest. Still in Kasaï Occidental, on 16 February 2008, the same program was carried out for the benefit of 33 human rights activists operating in Dimbelenge.