GENEVA (23 June 2017) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday said the creation of an international investigation into allegations of gross violations and abuses in the Kasai regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo sends a strong message to the perpetrators that the international community is serious about bringing them to justice.
The resolution, passed by consensus in the UN Human Rights Council, calls on the High Commissioner to appoint a team of international experts to investigate “alleged human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law in the Kasai regions”. Since 2016, some 1.3 million people from the Kasais have been internally displaced by the violence, while some 30,000 refugees have fled to Angola.
“We fully support the establishment of an international investigation by the Human Rights Council as a step forward in identifying the perpetrators of gross violations and bringing them to justice,” High Commissioner Zeid said.
“I will present a comprehensive report with the team’s findings to the Human Rights Council. The team will conduct investigations in a fully independent manner, in accordance with international standards, as mandated by the Council. The resolution also clearly states the importance of ensuring the protection of all those who cooperate with the team, which underlines the need for the team of experts to operate independently. We expect and count on the full cooperation of the authorities, particularly in providing unfettered access to all sites, files, people and places.”
The High Commissioner added that the UN Human Rights Office will also continue its monitoring, reporting and technical assistance activities in the DRC.
“The victims – those who have been killed, maimed, subjected to terrible violence and forced from their homes – deserve justice,”
The resolution requests the High Commissioner to provide an oral update at its March 2018 session followed by a comprehensive report in June 2018.