According to the UN Joint Human Rights Office in Democratic Republic of the Congo more than 45 attacks on some 30 villages and towns in the Ufamandu I and II areas in Masisi territory, in North Kivu, Eastern Congo, have been documented.
The attacks have resulted in serious human rights violations including massacres of civilians and the destruction and looting of homes and property, as well as the mass displacement of thousands of people, a joint statement by the UN Special Representative and UN Human Rights Office has said.
“Allegations of hundreds of killings are still being verified,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. “However, the preliminary findings suggest that a significant number of people – most of them women and children – were slaughtered. The sheer viciousness of these murders is beyond comprehension. In some cases, the attacks against civilians may constitute crimes against humanity.”
“We counted 94 bodies in total, including those of my wife and child,” a victim recounted to UN human rights team. The victim said, “We couldn’t bury them from fear that the Mayi Mayi might return and surprise us. We could only try to save the lives of those still living.”
The UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay, has called on all armed groups to immediately cease attacks against civilians and noted the possible consequences for those responsible for such attacks, referring to the recent sentencing by the International Criminal Court of former Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga.
29 August 2012