Human Rights Division / MONUC

19 mar. 07 – 15.34h

Summary: Soldiers of FARDC recently mixed Bravo Brigade are allegedly responsible for the growing insecurity in North Kivu; In Ituri, FARDC operations against FNI militias have resulted in an increasing number of allegations of human rights violations against civilians by FARDC in the Walendu Pitsi collectivity in Djugu territory; Around 67 villagers were allegedly arbitrarily arrested, 50 of whom were later subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment including 30 women who were allegedly raped by policemen in the north of Equateur province at the end of December 2006.1

Moreover, ANR agents continue to arrest and detain persons for common law offences; Up to 45 women and girls were allegedly raped by the Mayi-Mayi in Moba, Katanga, between 2002 and 2004; Increasing attacks and violations by Rwandan Hutu combatants are also reported in South Kivu despite the unprecedented arrest of a FDLR combatant of the Rasta group suspected of serious human rights violations; The Bunia Military Court delivered verdicts in two high profile trials.

Main Developments

1. According to preliminary findings of investigations conducted in Karawa – 75 km north-west of Gemena, Equateur Province, around 67 villagers were allegedly arbitrarily arrested, 50 of whom were later subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, 30 women were allegedly raped and most of the houses in the village looted by police officers during the period 28-31 December 2006. The police officers had come from Businga, Inera and Bobadi – 75, 45 and 25 km from Karawa respectively – to reinforce the Karawa police officers on 28 December 2006 following the destruction of the police station by some 250 villagers the day before.

The incident took place after the local police officers on 27 December rescued a young man suspected of having killed the sector chief from a group of villagers who were about to lynch him. Later that day, a section of the local population destroyed the police station, extracted the suspect and burnt him alive. No legal or disciplinary action has yet been taken against the commander of the police officers who were implicated in the incidents.

2. On 19 February, the Bunia Military Court delivered verdicts in two high profile trials: the Bavi massacre (September 2006) and the killing of two MILOBS in Mongbwalu in May 2003. Thirteen of the fifteen defendants in the Bavi case were sentenced to life imprisonment, one was sentenced to 180 days and the other was acquitted. The men were tried for their participation in the arbitrary executions of at least 32 civilians in of Bavi – 32 km south of Bunia – between August and November 2006 and were charged with war crimes (killings, looting and rape). They were also charged with violation de consigne (failure to comply with military rules). The Court awarded between $10,000 and $15,000 US in damages to the families of the victims.

3. Four of the seven defendants in the trial of the killing of two MILOBs were sentenced to life imprisonment, one to 20 years, another to 10 years and one was acquitted. It is important to note that a suspect was released by the FARDC command following pressure from a former Ituri militia chief who was appointed Special Adviser on Investigations to the FARDC Commander in Ituri. The Court applied the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in both trials.

FARDC soldiers were responsible for many human rights violations, particularly the right to life, physical integrity and the right to liberty and security of person throughout the DRC

4. In Ituri, FARDC operations against Peter Karim's FNI have resulted in an increasing number of allegations of human rights violations committed by FARDC troops in the Walendu Pitsi collectivity in Djugu territory that covers the whole region between Kpandroma and Laudjo – area 50-100 km north-east of Bunia. FARDC troops engaged in fighting the FNI militia in the area of Jiba – 120 km north-east of Bunia, allegedly went on a rampage in Jiba and surrounding villages, looting and harassing the local population after dislodging the FNI on 2 February. A total of 12 villages were reportedly burnt. As a result, most of the villagers fled to the nearby forest.

On 6 February, FARDC troops from Blukwa allegedly burnt the village of Linga, killing four civilians and causing the displacement of the population in the nearby forest. Still on 6 February 2007, a group of FARDC soldiers shot dead a civilian in Jiba as he was returning from the fields. The day before the same FARDC troops had looted the health centre at the Jiba Mission.

On 7 February, FARDC troops from Fataki allegedly burnt down the localities of Sanduku, Riza and Kpakala. The population from these villages was allegedly massively displaced toward Libi, where Peter Karim was reportedly operating. On 8 February, FARDC troops from Fataki allegedly attacked the locality of Dyameu reportedly killing a woman in her house during the fire they provoked. Also on 8 February, the FARDC from Kpandroma looted the villages of Mola and Buba although no destruction was reported there.

5. Attacks against or ill-treatment of former FARDC military personnel who have opted for demobilisation from the army continue to be carried out in North Kivu. In Bunagana, in Rutshuru territory, two demobilised soldiers of Tutsi origin were reportedly abducted by other Tutsi soldiers of the recently mixed Bravo Brigade (comprised partly of soldiers loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda) on 3 February. They are still missing, but local sources believe that the missing soldiers were killed because they left the army, an action their former colleagues considered as a betrayal.

Still in the territory of Rutshuru it is alleged that members of Bravo Brigade abducted a demobilised soldier on 18 February and subjected him to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. They reportedly bound his arms and proceeded to beat him in public as they took him to their camp despite the local residents' pleas for his release. He was reportedly taken to Kalengera – 55 km north of Goma – on 19 February and again beaten in the presence of the local residents. The victim's family has not seen him since his arrest and fears that he might have been killed. Local sources had indicated that around 23 January 2007 some 15 demobilised soldiers had been arbitrarily executed in Tongo by soldiers of the Bravo Brigade. However, these allegations have not been verified.

6. Also in Rutshuru territory, soldiers of the Bravo Brigade were reportedly responsible for committing several serious human rights violations, including at least 13 killings. A motorcyclist was allegedly stabbed by soldiers of Bravo Brigade on 6 February in the locality of Matebe – approximately 6 km from Rutshuru centre. A soldier of the Bravo Brigade asked the victim to drive him to Bunagana. On the way, he stopped him and robbed all his belongings including the motorcycle. Three other soldiers came out of the bush to help the perpetrator. As the victim attempted to resist, he was repeatedly stabbed.

On 3 February, two inhabitants of Bunagana were abducted from their homes by soldiers of the Bravo Brigade based in Bunagana and were allegedly brought to the HQ of the Bravo Brigade in Rutshuru centre. Both victims are still missing. According to an official source, the victims were former soldiers who had been suspected of having committed treason during the 1990s.

7. A mentally handicapped Hutu civilian was allegedly killed in Kiseguru village – 19 km from Rutshuru – on 8 February by soldiers of the Bravo Brigade. The incident took place during looting carried out by the perpetrators.

8. Also in Kiseguru village, an elderly Nande civilian was killed in his residence on 8 February by soldiers of the Bravo Brigade. According to two witnesses, who had been arbitrarily arrested by the perpetrators earlier on the same day, the soldiers attempted to bury the body of the victim. Inhabitants of the village later re-buried the body.

9. On 23 February 2007, three civilians were allegedly arbitrarily executed by soldiers of the Bravo Brigade in Katwiguru I – 26 km from Rutshuru. The perpetrators are believed to belong to the Headquarters of the 2nd Battalion based in Nyamilima. The victims allegedly were playing a game when the soldiers shot and killed them without any apparent reason. The victims' bodies were taken to the village of Kisharu and buried there.

10. On 27 February 2007, a civilian Hutu was allegedly killed by soldiers of the Bravo Brigade near Katwiguru I – 26 km from Rutshuru. According to local sources, the victim was on his way from the fields when he was stopped by the FARDC patrol, tied up and later shot at his head and abdomen. FDLR combatants found the victim's body and brought it to his residence where he was buried.

11. In South Kivu, FARDC soldiers allegedly killed a civilian during their attack on private residences in the Commune of Bagira in Bukavu, during the night of 21-22 February. As a result of the incident, a peaceful demonstration was organised by local residents to protest against FARDC abuses. According to local sources, the same soldiers erected barriers on the Bariga-Kabare axis and regularly extort valuables from civilians travelling along the road.

12. On 25th February 2007, a 12-year-old pupil was a victim of attempted arbitrary execution committed by a FARDC sergeant from the 1st Integrated Brigade of the 1st Integrated Battalion in Mahagi, Ituri. According to witnesses, the victim was gathering dried cassava in front of the family house when the perpetrator, seemingly under the influence of drugs and alcohol, fired three shots indiscriminately, one of which hit the victim on her right arm. Instead of assisting the victim, the perpetrator aggravated her pains by punching her on the ground until she was rescued by FARDC and PNC. The perpetrator was arrested.

13. On 5 February 2007, a FARDC Second Lieutenant attached to the military intelligence branch of the 9th Military Region in Kisangani, Province Orientale, allegedly severely struck a young street vendor on the head with the butt of his rifle. The victim died of internal bleeding two days later at the Kisangani General Hospital. According to witnesses, the vendor was struck on the head after he insisted that the FARDC officer pay him for a piece of roasted meat he had just sold him. The alleged perpetrator was arrested by the Office of the Military Prosecutor but managed to escape from managed to escape from the holding cell on 23 February.

14. In Lemera – 80 km north-west of Uvira – a minor was severely wounded by an officer of the Bureau II2 of the 12th FARDC Integrated Brigade on 12 February. The victim was at the bottom of a mine pit, known as "Comité", when the perpetrator ordered him to get out. As he refused to obey the order, the perpetrator allegedly took a rock and struck him severely on the head. The victim is currently hospitalised in Lemera and unable to speak. The alleged perpetrator was arrested as well as four other miners. The Military Prosecutor has requested the transfer of the alleged perpetrator to his custody. The four miners were later released.

15. In Rutshuru territory of North Kivu Province, a 15-year-old girl from Biruma – approximately 45 km north-east of Goma – was reportedly abducted on 27 January on her way back from school and forcibly taken to the military position of Biruma where she was detained for five days and repeatedly raped by two soldiers of the 4th Battalion of the 9th Integrated Brigade under the command of Major Nibiyizi. She was released on 2 February after her brothers signed an agreement not to file a complaint with the Military Prosecutor.

16. In Ituri, in the Walendu Pitsi collectivity in Djugu territory, on 1 February, three civilians of the village of Dzati, including a woman and her two children, were arrested and taken to the FARDC position in Fataki while on their way to Fataki-Centre to avoid the clashes between Peter Karim's FNI and the FARDC. Although the FARDC commander claims that they were released the same day, the victims are still allegedly missing.

17. Soldiers of the Naval Forces in North Katanga continue to commit acts of sexual violence against women and girls. A corporal of the Naval Forces in Kalemie allegedly raped an 18-year-old girl on 3 February 2007. According to the Military Prosecutor, she was raped on her way back from the fields. The victim's parents caught the perpetrator in the act and brought him to the Military Prosecutor in Kalemie.

18. In Equateur, a 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by an FARDC soldier in Mokabi – 60 km north-east of Lisala – on 5 February 2007. The soldier asked the girl to buy him cigarettes. As she refused, he threatened her and forced her to push his bicycle for two kilometres. He subsequently raped her in a nearby forest. According to the Military Prosecutor of Lisala, the alleged perpetrator was arrested.

19. In Bas-Congo, a FARDC soldier allegedly raped a woman on 10 February 2006 in Muanda – approximately 250 km west of Matadi – as she was working in the fields. The perpetrator allegedly covered the victim's mouth with a piece of cloth to prevent her from screaming, bound her arms and then raped her. The victim lodged a complaint at the Muanda police station.

20. In Kazimu, territory of Walungu – 53 km south-west of Bukavu – two civilians (15 and 18 years old) were allegedly severely beaten with sticks by three FARDC soldiers of the 11th Integrated Brigade because they refused to let the soldiers eat their dog. The soldiers extorted money and domestic animals from the victims and released them later on.

21. In Ciburi, on 1 February, territory of Walungu – 30 km south-west of Bukavu – a group of soldiers, believed to belong to the 11th Integrated Brigade, allegedly broke into a private residence and raped a 14-year-old girl after having tied her father to the ceiling of the house and looted their property as well as the neighbouring houses.

22. A FARDC soldier allegedly subjected a civilian to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment on 14 February in the Commune of Diulu in Mbuji Mayi. The soldier allegedly accused the man of being a ‘suicidaire'3, arrested him and then ordered him to accompany him to the local police station. As the man refused to obey his order, the soldier allegedly grabbed him, struck him several times on the head, abdomen and in the back with the butt of his rifle and then dragged him to the police station. A police officer released the victim some minutes later as there was no evidence to prove the allegations.

23. In Mbuji Mayi, during the night of 4-5 February, a group of 17 armed men in FARDC uniforms allegedly broke into a private house in the Kalundu neighbourhood of the Bipemba Commune and stole all valuables after threatening to kill the victims.

24. In Bandundu, on 11 February, a civilian was allegedly subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by soldiers of the Naval Force and FARDC soldier of the Bureau II based in Kutu-Moke – approximately 20 km east of Bandundu-city. The incident allegedly took place after the victim refused to pay illegal fee for the transport of his goods to Bandundu-city by a pirogue. According to a local source, the victim has serious injuries on his face.

25. On 20 February 2007, an agent of the Rapid Response Police based in Awasi – 18 km north-west of Mahagi – reportedly shot a locality chief at close range and injured him in his left leg. A veterinary officer was also wounded on the forehead by a second shot fired by the perpetrator. The shooting occurred when the victims tried to prevent the agent from arbitrarily re-arresting a civilian who had earlier in the day been freed from custody by the population with the help of Kodikoka PNC chief of post. The locality chief's leg was later amputated at the Logo Hospital.

26. A FARDC soldier from the 1st Battalion of the 1st Integrated Brigade in Katanga – located more than 100 km from Mahagi, Ituri – caused widespread panic among the residents of Gwoknyeri and Pamitu villages – 33 and 41 km west of Mahagi respectively – in the early hours of 14 February when he allegedly fired a total of 29 rounds of ammunition in an indiscriminate manner in the two villages. According to police sources, the soldier had earlier abandoned his post in Katanga and then went on a rampage in the two villages, breaking into several shops. He also allegedly attempted to arbitrarily execute two shop owners who offered resistance. The perpetrator was arrested and transferred to Mahagi.

27. FARDC soldiers manning an illegal check-point in Rwampara (Bunia) beat up a civilian on 14 February because he did not have the 40 FC they ordered him to pay in order to pass through. The alleged perpetrators were arrested.

PNC agents have been implicated in a steadily increasing number of human rights violations during the month of February

28. A group of police officers allegedly participated in the looting and burning of some 302 huts in the village of Bakwa Tshiya in the territory of Miabi – 70 km west of Mbuji Mayi – on 13 February. The incident was the direct result of a dispute between the neighbouring villages of Bakwa Tshiya and Bakwa Tshiala over the ownership of the Ntabalayi mine. A recent court decision had awarded ownership of the mine to the villagers of Bakwa Tshiala.

During the early hours of 13 February, the villagers of Bakwa Tshiya, obviously angry over the court decision, attacked the rival village, reportedly burning down 31 huts, a school and also beating to death a policeman's wife and wounding two of the six Special Services policemen on guard at the mine. Later that day, the Bakwa Tshiala village chief, accompanied by a group of villagers and the policemen sent to guard the mine, went to Bakwa Tshiya. The policemen allegedly fired shots into the air, thus causing the villagers to run into the nearby forest. They then allegedly participated in the burning down of 302 huts and in the general looting of the village. Four villagers of Bakwa Tshiya were wounded during the attack. The Miabi police have arrested eleven residents of Bakwa Tshiya.

29. In Mbuji Mayi, Kasai Oriental Province, a diamond trader was fatally shot by armed men wearing police uniforms during the night of 2-3 February in the Kasavubu neighbourhood of the Dibindi Commune. Four armed men, including two wearing PNC uniforms, arrested the victim in the street, searched him and took all his belongings. As the victim insisted on having his mobile phone returned to him, one of the assailants shot him at point blank range.

30. In Mbuji Mayi, a 50-year-old man was allegedly tortured by police officers in an affair linked to the exploitation of natural resources. According to the victim, he and sister-in-law were arrested by the police from the Lubilanji police station on 4 February and accused of the theft of a diamond stone belonging to his sister-in-law's employer, a diamond dealer. They were detained at the Lubilanji holding cell until 7 February and then transferred to the police station attached to the Mayor's Office in Mbuji Mayi.

The victim claimed to have been tortured daily on the orders of the Lubianji police commander for him to indicate where his sister-in-law had hidden the diamond stone. He claimed that a bottle filled with sand was heated over a fire and then placed on different parts of his body. He was finally released on 13 February by the Prosecutor's Office due to his poor state of health. His sister-in-law was transferred to the Mbuji Mayi prison.

31. Still in Mbuji Mayi, on 28 February, 15 armed men, including some wearing the PNC and FARDC uniforms as well as others in civilian clothing, carried out a series of armed robberies in the Minkoka/SNEL neighbourhood of the Commune of Dibindi.

32. In Kasai Occidental, on 11 January, a group of nine policemen arbitrarily arrested four civilians, including a man and his daughter and subjected them to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the village of Tshibila, Dimbelenge territory – 180 km from Kananga. The two men were allegedly tied together with their daughters during the whole night in the holding cell. One of the men was forced to urinate in front of his daughter while the other was whipped by the police officers because he was unable to pay the amount of money requested for his release. One of the women was allegedly raped by the PNC commander. They were eventually released on 12 January after giving a rooster and radio batteries to the police officers.

33. During the night of 10-11 February, a PNC officer attached to the PNC Headquarters in Ilebo – 450 km north-west of Kananga, Kasai Occidental – allegedly raped a female detainee. The victim, the only female detainee at the time, was kept outside the holding cell. In the middle of the night, the officer-in-charge of the guards allegedly took her behind a nearby building and raped her. The other policemen on guard witnessed the act but did nothing to protect the victim because the perpetrator was their commander.

34. A minor was allegedly raped by a police commander in Kinzau Mvuete in Boma – approximately 300 km south-west of Kinshasa in Bas-Congo province. The alleged perpetrator was arrested and is under investigation by the Military Prosecutor in Boma.

35. On 1 February, two human rights activists were allegedly subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by three police officers, including the officer in charge, at the Djegu police station – 31 km east of Mahagi, Ituri – when they tried to intervene to obtain the release of a detainee who was allegedly arbitrarily detained.

36. On 10 February 2007, a woman was allegedly a victim of rape, inhuman and degrading treatment committed by three PNC agents in Gbadolite – 600 km north of Mbandaka. According to the victim, she was intercepted by the policemen, forced to enter a house under construction, where she was threatened with a knife, kicked, undressed and where one of the PNC agents introduced his hand in her vagina. The perpetrators also stole the victim's money. Local authorities established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the case.

37. Also in Gbadolite, in the night of 13-14 February 2007, two women were allegedly victims of sexual harassment and attempted rape committed by PNC officers. The victims, who were in detention at the PNC holding cell, claimed that a group of about five policemen tried to rape them. The perpetrators had to retreat following the victims' reaction, which attracted the attention of the other detainees.

38. A woman claims to be a victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and arbitrary arrest committed by PNC officers in Gbadolite during the night of 13-14 February. According to the victim, the policemen broke into her house and searched it as they had suspected her of having hidden a thief. The victim was allegedly beaten and brought to a PNC holding cell. She was later released and transferred to the local hospital.

39. A woman was allegedly a victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment committed by a police officer in Punia – 240 km north-east of Kindu, on 16 February 2007. The perpetrator, a guard of the police commissariat in Punia, allegedly abandoned his post during the night to go for a walk when he met the victim. He proceeded to beat her in order to obtain the possession of a can of alcohol she was carrying. The perpetrator was arrested but released after two days in detention after he had signed a written agreement to reimburse the cost of the alcohol to the victim.

40. An IEC4 employee in Mweka – 250 km north-west of Kananga, Kasai Occidental – was allegedly arbitrarily arrested and detained by the local authorities on 6 February. The arrest was connected to a report that he allegedly made on a robust intervention of FARDC troops in the village of Belo – 100 km north of Mweka – in January 2007 which reportedly involved mass arbitrary arrests, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as acts of extortion. The agent was reportedly accused of providing false information on the situation in Belo. He was released the following day.

41. A civilian and his two wives were arrested on 1 February by police officers in the Commune of Vulengera in Butembo. After arresting the two women because they could not find the husband, police officers arrested him when he came to the police station to enquire about the arrest of his wives. He was kept in detention for six days during which no statement was taken from him by the judicial police officer but was repeatedly beaten with a stick and also whipped. He was eventually released after pledging to pay a "fine" of 100$. All the belongings that had been extorted from his wives have been retained by the police.

42. Five students were arrested in Kinshasa by the police reportedly because of their perceived affiliation to MLC5, political party led by former Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba. They were arrested on 31 January during a cordon and search operation for illegal weapons and military equipment mounted by the police and the FARDC in Barumbu Commune, Kinshasa. They were first detained at the Provincial Police Inspectorate in Kinshasa (IPK) and later transferred to the Special Services branch of the PNC at Kin-Mazière on 5 February and, finally, to the Office of the Military Prosecutor in Kinshasa/Gombe on 10 February. They were then charged with inciting military personnel to commit crimes and remanded in custody at the Kinshasa Central Prison (CPRK).

During the search, the police allegedly found a suitcase containing a military cap, belt and stripes belonging to the Sudanese Army as well as an article that appeared on the Internet in May 2006 entitled "Kabila doit partir" (Kabila must go). The military effects reportedly belong to a cousin of the detainees who is a member of the Republican Guard. The young men claim that they were arrested because of their political views.

Other security forces were implicated in several cases of human rights of violations

43. Agents of the DSF (Département de la Sécurité des Frontières), ex-DEMIAP6, charged with gathering military intelligence in the territory of Beni, allegedly shot dead a motor taxi driver at his home in Lubiryia/Kasindi – 85 km south-east of Beni, close to the Ugandan border – on the night of 9 February in retaliation for a severe beating that one of their colleagues had received earlier that day from a group of villagers. The soldiers reportedly identified the victim as one of the persons who had participated in the beating of their colleague. The Office of the Military Prosecutor in Beni is conducting investigations.

44. On 11 January, a civilian died after he was reportedly arrested, detained and severely mistreated by three DSF agents in Mbau – 17 km north of Beni – two days earlier.

45. ANR7 agents continue to arrest and detain persons suspected of having committed common law offences that are not connected to State security. In Uvira, in South Kivu, two men and a 16-year-old boy were arrested on 14 February and accused of armed robbery. The men claimed to have been beaten with sticks and pieces of wire by as many as four ANR agents at a time. The minor was released on 20 February.

46. A civilian claimed to be a victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment inflicted by ANR agents in Lubumbashi while he was illegally detained on the suspicion of producing counterfeit money. The victim was allegedly arrested on 11 February and beaten during at least two days out of six days in detention. The victim was allegedly released after the intervention of provincial authorities. The victim's belongings were illegally confiscated by the ANR agents.

47. Illegal checkpoints and barriers continue to be a serious problem in Orientale Province. During a mission to Wanierukula – 59 km east of Kisangani – Republican Guard (RG) soldiers continue to harass travellers at their checkpoint located 21 km from Kisangani. These soldiers claim not to be under the command of any provincial authority, including the 9th Military Region. There are nine checkpoints between Yangambi – 90 km south-east along Congo River – and Kisangani. These checkpoints are controlled by the FARDC Naval Forces, the PNC, the ANR and the Republican Guard (RG).

Human Rights Violations Linked to the Exploitation of Natural Resources

48. In gold and cassiterite mines respectively in Lemera – 80 km north-west of Uvira, South Kivu, and in Lunga – 230 km north-west of Kalemie in North Katanga – FARDC soldiers, PNC and ANR agents, as well as local administrative authorities, are allegedly routinely harassing the population, conducting arbitrary arrests and extortions under the pretence of collecting taxes from miners and from the population.

49. In Buta, Province Orientale, – 325 km north-west of Kisangani – a judicial investigating officer was allegedly arbitrarily arrested on 28 January by the PNC District Police Inspector on his return from an official mission to Benge in the collectivity of Monganzulu – 62 km from Buta. He had been requested by the Prosecutor's Office to conduct investigations into a dispute opposing the owners of two diamond exploitation sites in Benge. According to the PNC, he had been inciting the population against the Police in Benge. His wife who had been arbitrarily arrested on 27 January during his absence was released on 30 January but the victim remained in detention. The District Police Inspector has refused to transfer the case to the Prosecutor's Office. The victim is not allowed to receive food or visits.

50. Exploitation of natural resources by a large number of Rwandan Hutu combatants in the National Park of Maiko, located at the border of the Lubero territory in North Kivu and of the western part of the Oriental Province is reportedly the cause of growing insecurity and human rights violations in this area. According to information received, Rwandan Hutu combatants regularly force the civilian population to carry the minerals exploited to their bases which require travelling on foot for one to two weeks. In some villages of the western part of Lubero territory, this situation has reportedly caused displacement of populations.

Members of armed groups have continued to commit human rights abuses on the populations of North and South Kivu and in Ituri

51. Up to 45 women and girls were allegedly raped by Mayi-Mayi combatants during the period 2002-2004 in Moba – 320 km south of Kalemie. The Mayi-Mayi Commander in Moba at the time has been since integrated into the FARDC and currently holds a command position at the Headquarters of the Naval Force in Kalemie.

52. In the commune of Vulamba in Butembo, Mayi-Mayi combatants allegedly abducted a police commander and three civilians during the night of 10-11 February. The police commander was released following negotiations between his hierarchy and the Mayi-Mayi combatants.

53. FDLR combatants in Rutshuru territory carried out several abductions during the month of February 2007. On 10 February, a Hutu civilian, residing in Kiseguru village – 19 km from Rutshuru – and working for the head of the village was allegedly abducted by FDLR. On 16 February, a Hutu businessman from Katwiguru – 24 km from Rutshuru – was allegedly abducted by FDLR from his residence. According to witnesses, he was tied up and taken in the direction of Kafura village. Both victims were accused by the FDLR of collaborating with the FARDC Bravo brigade.

54. Rwandan Hutu combatants (FDLR) allegedly looted the village of Luofu – 100 km south of Butembo – during the night of 9-10 February. FARDC troops came to the rescue of the villagers and killed one of the FDLR combatants.

55. In South Kivu, an increase of attacks perpetrated by Rwandan Hutu combatants was noted in Kanyola, the territory of Walungu – 55 km south-west of Bukavu – and in Luhago, territory of Kabare – 85 km west of Bukavu. During the night of 3-4 February, a group of FDLR/Rasta combatants allegedly arbitrarily executed a 70-year-old civilian and his 60 year old wife and burnt their house and corpses. The perpetrators also looted neighbouring houses and caused displacement of local population.

56. During the night of 18-19 February, Rwanda Hutu combatants based in Mugaba forest allegedly attacked Luhago village 90 km west of Bukavu – and abducted four civilians. According to local sources, this was the third attack at the village since the beginning of 2007.

57. Kafukiro village – approximately 75 km west of Bukavu – was also allegedly attacked by a group of Rwandan Hutu during the night of 19-20 February. A son of the head of the village was allegedly killed, eight persons abducted and several houses burnt during the attack.

58. On 26 January 2007, ten FNI militiamen reportedly killed the chief of locality and injured two other civilians during an incursion in the market of Nyali village – 35 km north-east of Fataki – 60 km north-east of Bunia.

59. FNI militias are reportedly responsible for the vast majority of sexual violence cases in Fataki area in Ituri committed during the ongoing fighting between Peter Karim's FNI and the FARDC in the area. A local hospital registered 16 cases in December 2006, 17 cases in January and 7 cases for the first week of February.

Administration of Justice

60. On 14 February 2007, at a special hearing of the Kilwa massacre trial, the Katanga Military Court turned down a request for the removal of the Presiding Judge on grounds of partiality that the main defendant had made at a previous hearing. On 19 January, the defendant's lawyers had introduced a request to challenge the presence of the Presiding Judge on the panel of judges because of statements made by him which they considered to be partial. The Court took note of the request and a senior military judge from Kinshasa was appointed to conduct the hearing on the question.

The trial resumed on 9 February. At the 14 February hearing, the Court ruled that the statements on which the main defendant had based his request for the removal of the Presiding Judge were made after the introduction of the request and therefore declared that the arguments were groundless.

61. On 12 February 2007, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Kinshasa/Gombe ordered the former leaders of the rebel groups RCD/KML and RCD/N to pay $450,000 in damages to the victims in a case of looting and robbery committed in January 2002 by armed men identified as members of these armed groups in the Province Orientale.

During the night of 4-5 January 2006, RCD/KML and RCD/N combatants had broken into the residence of a local business man in Mungbere, Province Orientale, destroying his coffee crop and robbing valuable possessions. Although injured, the victim had managed to escape and remained in hiding in a nearby forest for 10 days. The decision had been pending before the tribunal for 11 months.

62. In Mbandaka, hearings resumed on 2 February in the appeal case of 58 FARDC soldiers sentenced for their implication in rapes, summary executions and other human rights violations during the looting committed on of 3-4 July 2005 in Mbandaka. Eight of them were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Military Tribunal of Mbandaka. Both parties appealed the decision of the court: the victims claim that damages were not granted in an equitable manner while the accused claim that their direct involvement in the alleged rapes had not been sufficiently established.

63. In South Kivu, an FDLR Rasta combatant was for the first time arrested and handed over to the military authorities. The suspect was allegedly involved, together with other Rastas, in the killing a woman in Bulambika, collectivity of Bunyakiri on 31 December 2006 as well as in various cases of rape, killings, cannibalism and abductions in the collectivity of Bunyakiri in 2006. He was transferred to the office of the Military Prosecutor where charges of criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of a weapon of war and armed robbery have been brought against him.

64. Two police officers and one FARDC soldier were arrested in Mbuji Mayi in connection with the killing of a young man during the night of 2-3 February. The men were presented on 13 February during a parade. This arrest came in the wake of a series of protests made by the human rights community and the civil society following several cases of killings and acts of banditry implicating men wearing the PNC uniform that have occurred in certain neighbourhoods of Mbuji Mayi over the past four months.

65. In Goma, North Kivu, the President of the Tribunal de Grande Instance sentenced a defence lawyer to six months in prison for his refusal to leave the court room when ordered to do so. The lawyer had asked the President to rule on his request to challenge the panel of judges hearing his case. The President, completely refusing to respect the lawyer's right to have his request examined by the Court, ordered him to leave the court room. The General Prosecutor has granted a stay of execution of the sentence.

Prisons and other Detention Centres

66. A 25-year-old detainee of the Walungu Central Prison, South Kivu, died at a local hospital on 13 January as a result of a severe beating he had received from military detainees with whom he shared a cell.

67. In the night of 15-16 February, a detainee of the Beni Central prison was shot dead during an escape attempt by a prison guard. The victim, a corporal of the FARDC 2nd Integrated Brigade, had been detained on the suspicion of murder.


1 Some of the incidents under investigation took place in January 2007.

2 FARDC Intelligence Office.

3 The expression "Suicidaires" refers to armed men illegaly operating with their teams of artisanal miners inside the MIBA Polygon in Mbuji Mayi. There are generally members of the PNC or of the FARDC, as well as deserters or armed civilians. « Suicidaires » are allegedly responsible for the death of injury of many illegal and regular miners in the MIBA polygon.

4 Commission Electorale Indépendante – Independent Electoral Commission.

5 Mouvement de Libération du Congo – Movement for the Liberation of Congo.

6 Military Intelligence.

7 Agence Nationale de Renseignements – National Intelligence Agency.


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