• Armed conflict continued in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, with Congolese security forces and non-state armed groups responsible for serious abuses against civilians. The Rwandan-backed M23 armed group committed widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and forced recruitment of children in 2012 and 2013. On November 5, 2013, the M23 announced an end to its armed rebellion. Many of its remaining leaders and fighters fled to Uganda and Rwanda. M23 leader and former Congolese army commander Bosco Ntaganda is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in northeastern Congo in 2002 and 2003. As the military focused attention on defeating the M23, many other armed groups filled the security vacuum. These groups continue to carry out brutal attacks on civilians across eastern Congo. In Kinshasa and elsewhere, government authorities have sought to silence dissent with threats, violence, and arbitrary arrests against human rights activists, journalists, and opposition political party leaders and supporters who were critical of government officials or participated in anti-government demonstrations.

  • United Nations peacekeeper writes notes at a mass grave in Gatumba, August 16, 2004.

    Burundian authorities should hold accountable those responsible for a 2004 massacre of Congolese refugees. More than 150 refugees, most of them women and children, were killed and more than 100 others injured, on August 13, 2004, at Gatumba, in one of the worst ethnically targeted attacks in Burundi since the 1990s. The leaders of the armed group that claimed responsibility have not been brought to justice.

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Reports

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Oct 1, 2014
    Over 100 demobilized combatants, their wives, and children have died from starvation and disease in a remote military camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo after officials failed to provide adequate food and health care.
  • Aug 14, 2014
    Burundian authorities should hold accountable those responsible for a 2004 massacre of Congolese refugees. More than 150 refugees, most of them women and children, were killed and more than 100 others injured, on August 13, 2004, at Gatumba, in one of the worst ethnically targeted attacks in Burundi since the 1990s. The leaders of the armed group that claimed responsibility have not been brought to justice.
  • Jul 10, 2014
    It was a warm, sunny Sunday, July 6, and the Netherlands was celebrating the victory of its football team in the quarter finals of the World Cup. Hardly anybody was paying attention as the Dutch authorities put three Congolese men, whose asylum applications had been turned down by the Netherlands’ highest court a week earlier, on a plane and sent them back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When they arrived in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, the men were immediately taken to prison.
  • Jul 4, 2014
    The Netherlands’ State Secretary of Security and Justice should use his discretion to delay the deportation of three International Criminal Court (ICC) witnesses, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to State Secretary Fred Teeven. On June 27, 2014, the highest Dutch court, the State Council, denied the witnesses’ asylum requests and authorized their return to the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo).
  • Jul 4, 2014
  • Jul 2, 2014
    Congolese forces and United Nations peacekeepers failed to intervene to stop a nearby attack that killed at least 30 civilians. The attack was in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu province on June 6, 2014.
  • Jun 11, 2014
  • Jun 10, 2014
    The Democratic Republic of Congo and other governments attending the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict should make concrete commitments to justice for Congolese victims, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Global Summit is being held in LoAnchorndon from June 10 to 13, 2014.
  • Jun 10, 2014
  • Jun 9, 2014
    The International Criminal Court's confirmation of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity charges against the warlord Bosco Ntaganda should pave the way for broader justice in war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.