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Zaire: Lawlessness and insecurity in North and South-Kivu

, Index number: AFR 62/014/1996

Zaire is currently undergoing political transition from a single party to a multi-party political system; elections are scheduled for 1997. The current political climate is fragile and tension could erupt into conflict in other parts of the country. Although this report is relevant to the whole country, it takes the example of North and South-Kivu to illustrate how country-wide disorder, caused by political and economic crisis, can be potentially critical for the respect of human rights when a conflict erupts. Human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces and others are extremely serious and at alarming levels. In this report, cases of violations include extrajudicial execution, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, often of prisoners of conscience. The report also highlights abuses committed by armed groups, often colluding with military and government authorities.

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