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MONUC report on the Bas Congo violence in February/March 2008

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MONUC - June 14, 2008

BDK
© MONUC
Kinshasa,13 June 2008: A multidisciplinary team led by the United Nations Office for Human Rights was deployed in Bas Congo province from 17 -28 March 2008, to inquire into the violent incidents that took place between the Congolese National Police (PNC) and Bundu Dia Kongo* (BDK) members in Bas Congo, in February and March 2008.

Since October 2007, tensions were reported between BDK members and the local authorities in several Bas Congo cities and villages. On 28 February 2008, the DRC government launched operations to restore state authority in the whole of the province.

These police operations were carried out by the Rapid Intervention Force and the Integrated Police Unit, sent from Kinshasa to respond to a series of criminal acts made by the BDK, which included murder, attacks and the taking over of state authority in certain areas of Bas Congo.

The investigation concluded that at least 100 people, mainly BDK members, were killed during the operations launched by the PNC on 28 February 2008, in the province of Bas Congo.

The PNC were deemed responsible for the destruction of more than 200 buildings (churches, houses of BDK members as well as houses of civilians with no links to the BDK) in several Bas Congo villages, as well as the looting of many houses in the province.

More than 150 BDK members were arrested during the violence, and several of them were victims of torture or cruel and degrading treatment.

MONUC recommends that measures are taken by the Congolese Government so that the PNC is sufficiently equipped and trained to manage situations such as those which occurred in Bas Congo.

MONUC also recommends that the Congolese legal authorities open an investigation into the crimes and the serious violations of the human rights presented in the report, so that the presumed authors of these criminal acts are judged and condemned in accordance with the law.

The report is available in French and English on MONUC’s web site.

http://www.monuc.org/downloads/SpecialReport_BasCongo.pdf (English version)
http://www.monuc.org/downloads/RapportSpecial_BasCongo.pdf (French version)

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*Bundu dia Kongo (BDK): Politico-cultural movement, created in June 1969. Present in most of Bas Congo province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bundu dia Kongo's motto is “to fight for the defence, the protection and the promotion of the rights and interests of the Kongo people throughout the world.”


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