UN: DR Congo attacks may amount to crimes against humanity


The United Nations human right office (OHCHR) says that widespread attacks carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could amount to crimes against humanity.

According to UN figures, 849 civilians were by in ADF attacks last year in the Irumu and Mambasa territories, located in Ituri province, and in the Beni territory of North Kivu province. The rebel group is also accused of injuring a further 62 civilians and sexually abusing four women in the second half of 2020.

Potential crimes against humanity in the DRC

Aside from the violations committed by the ADF, Congolese security and defence forces are also accused of committing violations during operations against the rebel group in 2020. According to a report from the UN Joint Human Rights Office in the country (UNJHRO), some 47 civilians were killed, and 27 women and 22 children were sexually abused, while 126 people were arbitrarily arrested throughout the year.

The ADF also carried out several reprisal attacks against civilians in areas previously under its control during the second half of 2020. The same report also documents an increase in the number of civilians abducted with 534 civilians kidnapped, 457 of whom remain missing.

Last year’s violence carried over into the new year, too, with attacks in the Twa community in Walese Vonkutu, located in Irumu territory, on 13 January, killing at least 14 people, including two pregnant women.

Featured image: “Joint MONUSCO-FARDC operation against ADF in Beni” flickr photo by MONUSCO https://flickr.com/photos/monusco/13246937824 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.