DRC: President must ensure new government appointees not tainted by human rights abuses

As Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi presents his scorecard on how he performed in his first 100 days in office on 14 May, he must ensure there is no place in his government for officials suspected of human rights violations, and that any individuals suspected of aiding and abetting such crimes are immediately investigated, Amnesty International said.  

The new president has led positive changes since taking office in January, including releasing detainees, ending the ban on protests and political rallies, and letting exiled opposition leaders back into the country.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

The country’s parliament and other relevant governmental bodies must thoroughly vet anyone being considered for appointment to public office to keep out individuals suspected of human rights crimes under national and international law, pending the outcome of investigations and trials.

“The new president has led positive changes since taking office in January, including releasing detainees, ending the ban on protests and political rallies, and letting exiled opposition leaders back into the country,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“But he must not appoint people suspected of involvement in human rights violations to serve in his government and any other state institution, including the army, police and the national intelligence agency, because they are likely to hinder or cover up investigations into their role in such crimes.”

President Tshisekedi must raise the bar and demand that everyone he is appointing to any public office commits to uphold and protect human rights before they assume office.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's Director for east Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

The DRC is in dire need of leaders who not only respect the country’s laws but also strive to ensure the country lives up to its obligations under international law, particularly international human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws.

“President Tshisekedi must raise the bar and demand that everyone he is appointing to any public office commits to uphold and protect human rights before they assume office. He must subsequently hold them to account for any breach,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Amnesty International calls for all individuals suspected to have been responsible for, or complicit in, human rights violations to be investigated and held to account.

Congolese people want justice and accountability for past violations.
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“Congolese people want justice and accountability for past violations. They want to see all those suspected of human rights violations and abuses – including former government, army, police and national intelligence agency officials - held to account,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Background

President Felix Tshisekedi was sworn into office on 24 January, but he is yet to appoint his cabinet of ministers.