UN report on Rwanda-led genocide of Hutus in D.R. Congo
As a new UN report into the most appalling atrocities committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo is released, Lindsey Hilsum looks into the details of “the worst war in the world”.
The United Nations report on the Congo looks at more than 600 of the worst human rights abuses which happened in the country between 1993 and 2003, when tens of thousands of people were killed and many others raped and mutilated by both armed Congolese groups and foreign forces.
Over the period, the region was torn apart by political crises, wars and conflicts.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report examines the actions of a number of foreign countries, including Uganda, Burundi and Angola, in the region, but singles out Rwanda as having committed alleged potential “acts of genocide” in the Congo.
The Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) took power in Rwanda by bringing an end to the genocide of the Tutsi people in 1994. However the new report suggests the RPF then committed appalling atrocities in the neighbouring Congo as they pursued Hutus who had committed the Tutsi genocide.
The report suggests these acts, in the forests of the Congo, may have constituted a second genocide.
All of the countries involved have reacted angrily to the report and condemned its contents. Rwanda described the report as “flawed” and said it could threaten regional stability.
In a statement, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the evidence points to potential crimes against humanity, war crimes and acts of genocide. However, he stressed that these definitions could only be addressed by a court.