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Rights Body Wants Probe On DRC

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd April 2001 03:00 AM

THE American-based Human Rights Watch has urged the UN Security Council to set up a commission of experts to investigate and establish the individuals responsible for grave human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

By John Kakande THE American-based Human Rights Watch has urged the UN Security Council to set up a commission of experts to investigate and establish the individuals responsible for grave human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a statement issued in New York at the weekend, Human Rights Watch (HRW) also urged the Security Council to take action "against the looting of resources by foreign troops" in Congo. HRW was reacting to the April 16 report of the UN panel of experts on exploitation in the DRC, which implicates Uganda in looting Congo minerals. Last week, the minister in-charge of the presidency, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, issued a government statement saying the report was unsubstantiated, based on hearsay and made illogical conclusions. The report alleged that Uganda, Rwanda, and foreign forces allied with the Congolese government were profiting from the conflict. Alison Des Forges, Senior Advisor at the Africa Division of HRW said, "While Ugandan commanders were plundering gold, looting timber, exporting coffee, and controlling illicit trade monopolies in the Ituri district, their troops were killing and otherwise abusing the local population." HRW called on the Security Council to "extend the mandate of the panel on the illegal exploitation of resources in the DR Congo to allow it to conduct follow-up investigations and to complete investigations on resource exploitation by governments allied with the Congolese government." Ends

Rights Body Wants Probe On DRC

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