UN Report Conclusions

VIII. Conclusions and recommendations
44. FARDC soldiers and combatants of the M23 armed group are responsible for gross
violations of human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law in
the context of the combat between the two Parties in and around Goma and Sake, North
Kivu province, as well as during the retreat and regrouping of FARDC soldiers in Minova
and surrounding villages, South Kivu province, between 15 November and 2 December
45. Among the most serious human rights violations, the UNJHRO and MONUSCO Child
Protection Section documented 135 cases of sexual violence perpetrated by FARDC troops
in and around Minova, Kalehe territory, South Kivu province, and 59 cases of sexual
violence perpetrated by the M23. The UNJHRO has documented other serious human rights
violations perpetrated by the M23 and FARDC, as described above. Given the type and
nature of these violations, and the context in which they have been committed, they may
constitute international crimes as well as crimes under the Congolese penal code.
46. The UNJHRO is particularly concerned about the gross human rights violations perpetrated
by the Congolese army, and its failure to protect civilians. This failure stems in part from a
lack a ‘vetting’ procedure which has allowed former rebels, for example former leaders of
the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie (RCD), CNDP and other rebel
movements, to integrate into the national army without verification of their human rights
records. More generally, the Congolese army lacks discipline, and effective mechanisms to
ensure accountability for many ongoing human rights violations.
47. Thus it is recommended, as a matter of urgency:
To the Congolese authorities
− to promptly complete effective, thorough and impartial investigations into the human rights
violations committed by the M23 and the FARDC outlined in this report, and to prosecute
the alleged perpetrators of these acts, including those bearing command responsibility,
regardless of their rank;
− to speed up reform of the justice sector, including enacting laws that will free the military
justice from military command and place it under the authority of the Ministry of Justice
and to ensure that in the future no civilians are tried by military justice jurisdiction;
− to take into account the human rights violations detailed in this report and the responsibility
of the alleged perpetrators during all measures of security sector reform and the
restructuring of armed forces and to implement a systematic verification of the human
rights records of combatants, their commanders and their overall group during the
integration process of armed groups into the FARDC;
− to implement the Action Plan to Stop and Prevent Underage Recruitment, Sexual Violence
and Other Grave Child Rights Violations signed by the Congolese government on 4
October 2012, which include the issuance of military directives for the prevention of killing
and maiming of children, of sexual violence against children and of the occupation of
schools, and ensuring that perpetrators of these violations are held accountable;
To the international community
− to continue its support to the Congolese defence and security forces, with respect to
verifying conformity with human rights standards, in order for them to fully ensure the
protection of civilians, particularly in regions still affected by armed conflict;− to support the military justice to complete effective, thorough and impartial investigations
in the areas affected by the human rights violations described in this report in order to
identify alleged perpetrators and commanding officers. Mobile judicial hearings in Minova
should be supported in order to hold the perpetrators accountable and re-establish the
confidence of the civilian population in the FARDC and Congolese justice system;
− to ensure that any arrangements resulting from regional peace negotiations be in line with
norms and principles of international law and not prevent the investigation and prosecution
of alleged perpetrators of gross human rights violations and/or serious violations of
international humanitarian law, including war crimes or crimes against humanity, or the
realisation of the right to an effective remedy by the victims of those violations;
− to support coordinated multi-sectorial assistance to victims of sexual violence in the
framework of the Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in the DRC;
− neighbouring states to support Congolese efforts to arrest and hold to account the leaders of
the M23 allegedly responsible for violations documented in this report, as well as those
leaders of the M23 facing long-standing allegations of responsibility for gross violations of
human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law;
− to request all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian and human rights
law and to ensure the protection of civilians.