UN Heads Demand Immediate Halt to Expulsions of DRC Nationals from the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)

Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Kobler speaks at a news conference in Baghdad

 

Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General
and Head of MONUSCO,

ZAINABCONCERN

 

Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General
on Sexual Violence in Conflict

UN heads demand an immediate halt to the expulsion of DRC nationals and call on the authorities of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) to investigate allegations of human rights violations

 

Kinshasa, Nairobi and New-York, 26 May 2014 – Since 4 April 2014 more than 130,000 nationals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been expelled from the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).  The expulsions have created an acute humanitarian crisis and there are allegations of human rights abuses.  The United Nations has received reports of physical abuse, ill treatment, and sexual violence inflicted on the citizens of DRC who are being expelled.

Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and Head of MONUSCO and Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict express deep concern over the allegations and call on the Government of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) to prevent violations and investigate the incidents.

Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO, expressed his concerns after visiting the Maluku transit camp situated on the outskirt of the city of Kinshasa and where several thousands of expelled are currently gathered.  “I heard numerous testimonies of victims of gross human rights abuses and cruel treatments.  I heard stories of children drowning in the river during their forced crossing.  I saw a man injured by bullets and mothers who had given birth alone on the shore of the Congo River.  All that has to stop,” declared the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in DRC.

“We have received reports alleging that sexual violence is being committed before and during the expulsion exercise, and this is unacceptable,” added Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The signatories urge the two neighboring countries to ensure that administrative and security officials act in full compliance with the principles of good neighborliness and preserve peace and international security in conformity with the UN Charter.

While the conditions for people to stay in a foreign country are part of the sovereign responsibility of the host country, deportations should be made in strict compliance with the principles and rules of the international law.  “Mass expulsions are contrary to principles within the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and international law more broadly,” reminded Martin Kobler, the Head of MONUSCO.

Mme Bangura and M. Kobler demand an immediate halt to the expulsion of DRC nationals and call on the authorities of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) to investigate allegations of human rights violations.  It is the prime responsibility of the authorities of Congo-Brazzaville to protect the people living in their territory, whatever their nationality.

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