In a joint letter addressed to the representatives of the European Union (EU), seven human rights organizations sign the urgency of ending army support to the Rwandan military supplied below the European Facility for peace. Collectively, they urge EU governments to publicly and strongly condemn any collusion or cooperation with armed teams lively within the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and particularly Rwanda’s assist for M23 and to nominate one. EU Particular Envoy to the area to facilitate dialogue processes between stakeholders.
TEXT OF THE LETTER
EU anticipated to droop army support to Rwanda over assist for M23 in japanese DR Congo
Expensive Excessive Consultant/Vice-President of the EU,
Distinguished Overseas Ministers of EU Member States,
Because the European Union (EU) and its Member States develop their new technique for the Nice Lakes, 7 European civil society organizations and platforms categorical their deep concern on the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the humanitarian state of affairs in japanese Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
We strongly condemn the abuses in opposition to civilians within the provinces of North and South Kivu and Ituri, and name on the EU and its Member States to behave in a agency, united and coherent method with the intention to assist the peace course of initiated within the Nice Lakes area.
The Ukrainian disaster shouldn’t distract the EU’s consideration from different conflicts around the globe.
The EU should respect the human rights values it promotes and put the pursuits of the populations affected by the conflicts within the Nice Lakes area above any European curiosity on the continent.
The signatory organizations are deeply involved by the current adoption by the Council of the European Union of an help measure amounting to twenty million euros to assist the deployment of the Rwandan military to combat an Islamist insurgency. in Mozambique, throughout the framework of the European Peace Facility (EPF).
The assist to the Rwandan military for the operations performed in Mozambique can’t be dissociated from the context which at the moment prevails within the east of the DRC and from the assist of this similar military to the rebels of the March 23 Motion (M23).
The EU’s choice to grant this envelope to the Rwandan military deeply shocked Congolese public opinion and our Congolese companions in civil society, thus fueling doubts as to the sincerity of the EU’s dedication to peace within the Nice Lakes area.
Specifically, analyzes pointing to the protection of pursuits of the French firm Whole Energies in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique as an essential think about taking this choice are worrying. This measure dangers compromising the efforts already made for stability, safety and growth within the area, and critically tarnishes the picture of the EU and European organizations working for justice and peace within the DRC.
Dr. Denis Mukwege, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the European Sakharov Prize for his combat for the protection of ladies’s rights and for peace – stated himself “scandalized” by this measure.
It’s due to this fact essential for the EU to vary course. Renewed tensions within the Nice Lakes area The resurgence in North Kivu of the armed group M23 since November 2021 has elevated rigidity within the sub-region, particularly between Rwanda and the DRC.
In accordance with the UN Group of Specialists, Human Rights Watch and American diplomacy, the M23 is supported by Rwanda.
Kigali contests in return, accusing Kinshasa of collusion with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). Certainly, Congolese military models have collaborated this 12 months with abusive armed teams, together with the FDLR, in operations in opposition to the M23.
This complicity results in complicity of the Congolese military within the abuses of those armed teams, and the Congolese authorities ought to put an instantaneous finish to it.
Nevertheless, this will under no circumstances justify the assist of Rwanda or every other nation within the area to the M23.
Moreover, the M23 rebellion shouldn’t make us neglect the opposite armed teams current within the
area that proceed to function on Congolese soil.
Within the final three months alone, the Kivu Safety Barometer has recorded practically 400 killings of civilians by armed teams in japanese DRC, not counting the abuses dedicated by the M23.
Regardless of the decision for a ceasefire following the mini-summit in Luanda on November 23, 2022, as a part of regional mediation efforts, severe abuses had been perpetrated on November 29 and 30 in Kishishe and Bambo, two villages in North Kivu occupied by the M23.
A preliminary investigation performed by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Workplace (UNJHRO) and MONUSCO, the conclusions of which had been revealed on December 7, evokes abstract executions by bullets or with knives.
The provisional toll exhibits 131 civilian victims, together with 102 males, 17 girls and 12 youngsters, killed throughout acts of reprisal. The investigation additionally studies greater than twenty rapes of ladies and ladies.
Multi-dimensional disaster and destabilization of the area The safety state of affairs prevailing within the province of North Kivu exacerbates the humanitarian wants that are appreciable at this time.
The violence has triggered the displacement of greater than 450,000 civilians.
Added to that is an escalation of inter-community hate speech and a rising mistrust of sure international powers, together with the EU, in addition to of MONUSCO.
The multi-dimensional disaster that has been going by way of japanese DR Congo for a few years has fueled continual instability, thus hampering the event of the area as a complete and weakening the method of constructing the Congolese state.
One 12 months earlier than the electoral deadline within the DRC, the renewed regional tensions, mixed with the various inside challenges posed by the group of the elections, pose a big danger to the soundness of the area in the long term.
Suggestions from the 7 European civil society organizations and platforms
The EU and its Member States ought to take a transparent and agency place within the face of the escalation of the battle in japanese DRC and condemn all violations of territorial sovereignty which threaten the soundness of the area.
The EU and its member states ought to:
– Publicly and firmly condemn any collusion or cooperation with armed teams lively in japanese DRC, and particularly Rwanda’s assist for M23.
As such, the strain and suspension of support to Rwanda by a number of international powers in 2012 had contributed to the de-escalation of the battle.
– Instantly droop army support to the Rwandan military supplied throughout the framework of the European Peace Facility and situation its assist on a previous dedication to withdraw assist from the Rwandan military to the M23.
– Impose new sanctions in opposition to perpetrators of human rights violations in japanese DRC and their supporters overseas.
The EU ought to:
– prolong focused sanctions to incorporate these discovered accountable for severe abuses, in addition to senior officers from throughout the area who’re complicit within the abuses of armed teams.
– appoint an EU Particular Envoy to the area to facilitate dialogue processes between stakeholders and exhibit the EU’s willingness to actively interact for peace within the area.
The institution of a particular envoy for the area may assist strengthen session between the totally different EU chancelleries and delegations within the area, thus contributing to a extra coherent EU coverage.