Responding to an urgent appeal by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and nine former African heads of state warning that the future of the DRC is in grave danger, Sarah Jackson, Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes said:
“The launch of this appeal is extremely timely and we echo the concerns raised by Kofi Annan. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a powder-keg of human rights grievances that frequently spill over into violence. Instead of taking concrete steps to ease the tensions, the government has chosen to focus its efforts on quashing dissenting voices, killing and imprisoning dozens of protesters in the process.
“Violent conflict in the Kasai region has forced 1.3 million people to flee their homes and requires urgent and immediate action from the UN Human Rights Council. Hundreds of extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations committed by the armed forces have gone uninvestigated fuelling a conflict now affecting eight provinces in which an estimated 500 to 1,000 people have been killed.
“The international community, and African leaders in particular, cannot afford to continue ignoring this desperate and dangerous situation.”