Authorities in Congo have made concerted efforts to conceal the evidence of civilian killings. The ADFL and its allies, especially Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda-speaking elements, have engaged in a campaign to cover up civilian killings throughout Congo, largely through the physical cleansing of massacre sites and by the intimidation of witnesses. These efforts have been ongoing since the beginning of the war in October 1997 and up to the present throughout eastern, central, and western Congo. It is likely that efforts in both of these areas--cleanups and intimidation--have intensified since April 1997, paralleling an increase in allegations of massacres and the arrival in the region on four separate occasions of United Nations investigative teams.(1)

Pressure from the international community on the Congolese government to cooperate with the U.N. missions may also have contributed to intensified cleanup and intimidation efforts by the ADFL and its allies.

Unlike the area near the three villages visited, located in a remote part of Congo, most massacre sites have been cleaned up by the ADFL or local villagers under their instruction. Major massacre sites have been subject to particularly concerted efforts, such as those in the Goma refugee camps or the area south of Kisangani, using dozens of villagers and heavy equipment.(2)

A large number of cleanups have taken place in North-Kivu where thousands of civilian refugees and Congolese have been killed since October 1996.(3)

Civilian killings increased with the attacks on refugee camps in North and South-Kivu in October 1996. In the city of Goma and the North-Kivu camp area alone, the UNHCR made arrangements for the burial of more than 6,800 people,(4) a mix of men, women and children in and around the camps themselves.(5) Residents of Goma, however, stated that roads leading to the camps were blocked by the ADFL immediately after the attacks. Before the U.N. had access to the camps, a front-end loader from the local public works department was seen heading toward the camps. An international journalist visited one site near the camps during this period where bodies were being dumped in a ravine, with heavy equipment tracks leading away.(6) Local villagers from the area stated that they had been eyewitnesses to the ADFL's use of a front-end loader to dispose of bodies from the camps in the ravine.(7)

Another notable cleanup operation was conducted south of Kisangani in late April and May 1997, following large-scale killings. Subsequent to several attacks in mid to late April on temporary refugee camps south of Kisangani by a mix of villagers and ADFL troops, humanitarian workers were denied access to the area by the ADFL troops. Independent eyewitnesses gave consistent reports to Human Rights Watch/FIDH of heavy machinery and trucks being used by the ADFL or workers engaged by them in the area where the camps had been.(8) While access was cut off, many trucks loaded with firewood were seen heading toward the former campsites. Several sources reported that bodies were being burned and ashes disposed of in rivers or deep in the forest.(9) In mid-September, the New York Times reported that the driver of a tractor used in these cleanup efforts and a Belgian national who owned heavy machinery and land in the massacre area were arrested without charge.(10) This report was later corroborated by French and Belgian authorities who reported on September 26, 1997 that two residents of Kisangani, nationals of France and Belgium, had been arrested without charges and were being held for questioning. Knowledgeable sources stated that the two were in possession of a videotape of evidence pertaining to massacres in the Kisangani area.(11)

Villagers and aid workers reported that smaller cleanups have continued from the beginning of the war up to the present in several different regions. In the Rutshuru area of North-Kivu, several villages where massacres had occurred were visited by development workers in March of 1997. The evidence at sites consisted of the charred remains of houses with bones and skeletons visible inside. When the site was revisited several months later, the remains were gone: villagers told them that Kinyarwanda-speaking ADFL soldiers had come back to the sites and ordered them to clean up the sites and hide the remains in common graves.(12)

Another recent cleanup was witnessed by a resident of Goma who was traveling into the Masisi area in July of 1997. The witness reported that ADFL soldiers stopped the truck he was traveling with and all traffic on the road for a period of thirty-six hours, claiming that the way ahead was unsafe. When the truck was allowed to proceed, the witness claimed that smoke and bones were visible near a small river by the roadside where the ADFL had been working.(13)

Congolese in villages visited by Human Rights Watch/FIDH were reluctant to speak of the killings and stated that they feared reprisals from Kinyarwanda-speaking members of the ADFL.(14)

Congolese who have spoken out against the killings, or those who have been suspected of speaking out, have been subject to intimidation, beatings, arrests or killings by ADFL. Residents of Goma told Human Rights Watch/FIDH with apprehension of an incident during which two humanitarian workers in Bunyakiri, South-Kivu, had "disappeared" shortly after showing mass grave sites to foreigners.(15)

Such claims were frequent. In one village in Haut-Congo, residents spoke of a local civil servant, Mr. Kahama, who had been arrested at his home by a Kinyarwanda-speaking ADFL officer. The officer criticized Mr. Kahama for having made a call via high frequency radio to Kisangani, requesting gloves and disinfectant to bury a large number of refugees who had been massacred by ADFL troops in his village. Mr. Kahama was taken to Kisangani to meet with a local ADFL commander for questioning. Guards outside the home of the commander subsequently heard Mr. Kahama crying out for help and then gunshots being fired. Mr. Kahama's body remains missing.(16)

The president and executive secretary of the Regional Council of Non-Governmental Development Organizations (CRONGD) in the Maniema province were arrested by ADFL military under the orders of Commander "Bikwete" and Commander "Leopold" on August 6, 1997 in Kindu. Both commanders were described by residents of Kindu as "Banyamulenge." The two CRONGD officials, Bertin Lukanda and Ramazani Diomba, were suspected of providing information to the U.N. Investigative Team regarding the killings of refugees in Maniema.(17) Both men were beaten severely and detained at Lwama military camp. Mr. Ramazani Diomba, the executive secretary, was hospitalized due to the beating; Mr. Lukanda, also a staff member of a local human rights organization, remained in detention for thirty-one days. Two of Mr. Lukanda's colleagues from his human rights organization have been prohibited by the ADFL from leaving Kindu.(18)

A witness from Haut-Congo, Jean, stated in his first interview with Human Rights Watch/FIDH that there were no problems in his village in Haut-Congo when the ADFL arrived, describing them as the "liberators." When asked specifically about alleged killings in the area, he stated that he was not interested in talking about "politics." Over the next few days, Jean provided progressively more information regarding killings committed by the ADFL and brought additional eyewitnesses to Human Rights Watch/FIDH. Jean explained that he, like many in his village, were frightened after the abduction and killing of a local civil servant as the ADFL "did not joke around" when it came to killings.

Similarly, according to a local organization in Goma, on at least one public radio station there, the Voice of the People, announcements have been made in Kiswahili to discourage the population from cooperating with the U.N. team investigating the massacres.(19) The ADFL led ideological seminars in the east throughout early 1997 informing local populations that all refugees who had wanted to return to Rwanda had done so; seminar leaders told participants that any Rwandans who remained were ex-FAR or Interahamwe and therefore should be exterminated.(20)


During a July 1997 interview with the Washington Post, Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame claimed that the Rwandan government had planned and led the military campaign that dispersed the refugee camps in Eastern Congo and ousted former President Mobutu.(21) According to the Washington Post, Kagame was unequivocal concerning his objectives:

The impetus for the war, Kagame said, was the Hutu refugee camps. Hutu militiamen used the camps as bases from which they launched raids into Rwanda, and Kagame said the Hutus had been buying weapons and preparing a full-scale invasion of Rwanda.

Kagame said the battle plan as formulated by him and his advisors was simple. The first goal was to 'dismantle the camps.' The second was to 'destroy the structure' of the Hutu army and militia units based in and around the camps either by bringing the Hutu combatants back to Rwanda and 'dealing with them here or scattering them.' (22)

Kagame's third objective was to topple Mobutu. Congolese President Kabila confirmed Rwanda's military assistance in Congo during an official visit to Kigali on September 9, 1997, when he publicly thanked Rwanda for their help during the war.(23)

These statements lend support to the numerous testimonies taken by Human Rights Watch/FIDH from Congolese, refugees, and expatriates in Congo regarding the presence of Rwandan and other foreign troops in Congo during the war. Similarly, Kagame's stated objective of destroying "the structure" of the ex-FAR provides a possible explanation for the active pursuit of refugees, former military, and militia across Congolese territory to areas of minor strategic importance, such as Mbandaka.

Despite the public recognition of military involvement, both Kabila and Kagame have denied that any civilian massacres took place by troops under their command.(24) Both during the war and up to the present, however, the identities of many commanding officers and strategists of the ADFL and its allies were kept secret. Throughout the seven-month military campaign, senior officers in the field were often out of uniform and many used only their first names in public. Similarly, ranks were apparently confused or intentionally simplified to avoid identification of the military hierarchy: many officers of Katangese or Angolan origin were given or assumed the rank of "general", while numerous Ugandan and Rwandan officers were known only as "commander" or "colonel" followed by their first name only. It is possible that many of these first names that were used in public are pseudonyms.

Regional power structures that reflect the pattern in Kinshasa have been put into place in many of the provinces. In several regions, governors from the political opposition or from local ethnic groups have been installed, at times through simple hand-raising elections in stadiums. Despite this apparent democratic method, Congolese community leaders and civil servants, international humanitarian workers, and U.N. officials claimed that civilian authorities have had little power in decision-making, especially regarding refugee issues, and that important questions were handled by military authorities.

In several provinces, Katangese generals have been installed as regional military commanders, seconded by Rwandan or Ugandan officers in charge of operations and questions related to refugees and security. Tension often exists between the various military factions, especially between those of Rwandan or Ugandan origin and those from Angola, Katanga, or non-Kinyarwanda speaking groups.(25) One Katangese general, allegedly responsible for the province of Equateur, stated flatly to a Congolese humanitarian official that he did not handle refugee issues.(26)

The identities of leading officers and strategists may have been intentionally hidden by the ADFL in order to protect those responsible for war crimes. Nevertheless, some became known to embassies in Kinshasa, humanitarian organizations, and Congolese, as either strategists or field commanders, or both. Lt. Colonel James Kabarebe, often known as Commander "James," or "James Kabare," was described by a U.S. Embassy official in Kinshasa as the most powerful commander in Congo and a principal strategist during the seven-month war.(27) An English-speaker, James claims to have grandparents from Rutshuru in North-Kivu, and has spent time in Uganda. James was active in the field during the war, telling an embassy official in Kinshasa how he changed the tactics of the ADFL after taking Kisangani. He was reportedly the field commander for the decisive battle at Kenge just prior to the fall of Kinshasa and was subsequently responsible for troops taking the capital.

James continued to play a key role in the military structure in Kinshasa and is likely the most powerful officer in Congo as of this writing. He participated in the first official talks between President Kabila and U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson in Lubumbashi in early June 1997. Rwandan Vice-President Kagame acknowledged that James was a key commander operating in Congo during the war and had been assigned to organize the new Congolese army.(28)

Other officers were seen regularly by many observers in areas where massacres took place. Below is a list of some of these individuals who may have been involved in, or been aware of, the organization or execution of civilian massacres in Congo. The list is incomplete, and likely represents a small fraction of those involved. Human Rights Watch/FIDH publishes the list not in an effort to accuse the below of war crimes but to insist that investigations are initiated by appropriate governments to clarify the role of each of these individuals and, equally important, other parties implicated in the massacres.

Commander "David"

Referred to as commander or major, originally from Rwanda or the Rutshuru area of North-Kivu. A fluent English and Kinyarwanda speaker, David has said that he left Rwanda at a young age to study in Uganda. By some reports, he also studied in Canada. According to numerous testimonies, he is approximately thirty years old, six foot one inch tall, thin, and has longish hair, very dark skin, and features characteristic of many ethnic Tutsi. David is a member of the RPA.(29)

David played an important role in the fall of Goma on October 31, 1997. Expatriates in Goma at the time were instructed by UNHCR to refer to "Major David" in the event that they encountered the RPA during their evacuation.(30)

David was in Beni in November 1996, in Isiro in early 1997, and finally in Kisangani in April 1997 during the period when access was cut to refugee camps and large-scale massacres were taking place.(31) David was in Mbandaka on May 13, 1997, where eyewitnesses report over 1,300 people killed by ADFL troops and their allies.(32) David told several sources in Mbandaka how he had made the journey from Kisangani to Mbandaka on foot.

After the departure of Commandant Wilson and Commandant Godfrey (see below) from Mbandaka, David claimed to be responsible for Equateur. David was described by many who had dealings with him as being very intelligent, helpful, and a disciplinarian. On at least one occasion, he ordered a soldier under his command to be flogged in public for an alleged rape.(33) In an informal conversation with colleagues, he mentioned how easy it was to kill:

It's so easy to kill some one; you just go--[pointing his finger like a pistol]--and it's finished.(34)

General Gaston Muyango

A native of the Katanga region, General Muyango is reportedly a Tshiluba, Lingala, and Portuguese speaker. Muyango was at numerous locations between Kisangani and Mbandaka shortly after killings took place. He arrived in Mbandaka on May 13, 1997 where over 1,300 refugees were killed by ADFL troops and their allies. In Mbandaka, he lived in ex-Minister Eduard Mokolo's house on Avenue Itela.(35)

Despite his rank of general, Muyango was described by numerous Congolese and expatriates as having little power in Mbandaka. Humanitarian workers claimed that for important decisions they were referred to Commanders David, Godfrey Kabanda, or Wilson. Muyango stated in several private conversations that he didn't deal with refugee issues. He was reportedly often in conflict with these commanders and left Mbandaka around the third week in June.

Commander "Godfrey" Kabanda

Commander "Godfrey" was reportedly either the top commander or a commander of operations for the ADFL in Mbandaka on May 13, 1997 during the Mbandaka massacre. He is described as short and robust and having facial features characteristic of some Tutsi. Godfrey claimed to be the military commander for the Equateur region. According to press reports, Godfrey denied that any massacre had taken place in Mbandaka but spoke openly of how many of his soldiers were Tutsi survivors of Hutu refugee attacks on Congolese Tutsi in eastern Congo in 1996.(36)

Godfrey left Mbandaka within a few weeks after the May 13, 1997 massacre.

Lt. Colonel or Col. Cyiago (Kiago)

Often seen just behind the front lines during the war, a Lt. Colonel or Colonel with a name close to Cyiago (or "Kiago") was responsible for some of the ADFL troops on the road between Kisangani and Mbandaka, an area where massacres took place. A Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili speaker, Cyiago is tall, dark, thin and reportedly used an interpreter for his communications. Cyiago has been accused of being involved in the abduction of at least one Congolese civil servant who had spoken out concerning the killings in Equateur. Cyiago is a member of the RPA.(37)

Commander or Lt. Colonel "Wilson"

Wilson was at or near sites in South-Kivu, Haut-Congo, and Equateur during periods when massacres took place. Several reports indicate that he may be responsible for a special unit of RPA, composed primarily of experienced Rwandan soldiers, that has been implicated in several large massacres in Congo.(38)

Wilson was in Kisangani during military interventions that took place at Biaro, Kasese I, and Kasese II that likely resulted in thousands of refugee deaths. According to aid workers in Kisangani, Wilson was responsible for training and inciting the local Congolese population south of Kisangani to launch attacks against refugees. He was a commander for RPA operations in Mbandaka on May 13, 1997, when a massacre took place. He was in Mbandaka until approximately May 24, 1997 when he was reportedly replaced by Commander David.(39)

Wilson has striking facial scarification and, in addition to English, speaks the Kiswahili typical of Uganda. He claims to be from Uvira, in eastern Congo and is described as professional and intelligent by many who dealt with him on refugee issues. Wilson reportedly often went by the alias "Khadafi" in Rwanda as an RPA officer.(40)

Colonel "Richard"

According to members of the ADFL military in Mbandaka, Colonel Richard, a member of the RPA, was one of the commanders responsible for operations at Mbandaka during the massacre May 13, 1997.(41)

Major "Jackson" Nkurunziza (or Nziza)

An officer reported to be Major Nkurunziza (also referred to as Colonel or Commander "Jackson") was seen by numerous sources in Maniema, South-Kivu and Haut-Congo near sites where refugees were concentrated and/or massacres took place. Jackson, according to Congolese and aid workers also known as "the exterminator," speaks the Kiswahili of Uganda as well as fluent English and Kinyarwanda.(42)

In early April, Jackson was a commander in the Shabunda area where he told aid workers that his mission was to eliminate ex-FAR and Interahamwe. During this period, humanitarian sources saw mass graves and decomposing bodies of what they state were civilian refugees in the Shabunda and neighboring areas. Corroborating sources state that Jackson was at barriers south of Kisangani during mid- to late April 1997 when massacres allegedly were taking place at refugee camps in the area. He was in Kisangani until mid-May and later in South-Kivu and Maniema as late as July 1997 during a period in which UNHCR was organizing voluntary repatriation.(43) He was seen again in Kisangani as recently as early September 1997.(44)

Commander "Joseph"

Commander "Joseph" or "Yusef", according to witnesses from the Masisi area, was in charge of ADFL troops based in the village of Rukwi in North-Kivu in late 1996. Joseph, reportedly a captain from the Burundian army, has been accused by eyewitnesses of commanding troops who participated in massacres in the villages of Nyakariba and Nyamitaba in late December 1996.(45)

Colonel "Dominic Yugo"

According to testimony from local Congolese NGOs, countless journalists, and international humanitarian workers, a commanding officer among Mobutu's mercenaries in the Kisangani area by the name of Colonel "Dominic Yugo" was responsible for numerous abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. Yugo, a Serb, personally executed and tortured Congolese civilians suspected of collaborating with the ADFL. On March 8, 1997, on a road near the Kisangani airport, Yugo shot and killed two Protestant missionaries, with bibles in hand, accusing them of being ADFL spies.(46) A beef importer from Goma was arrested by mercenaries on February 23, 1997 under Yugo's command and later described how he and others in detention were tortured and subject to inhumane treatment by Yugo himself.(47)

According to an aid official, Yugo claimed responsibility for air attacks on Walikale and Bukavu, incidents which resulted in numerous civilian deaths and casualties.(48)


Most of the civilian killings in Congo today are in the province of North-Kivu, providing an example of perhaps the worst possible futures for the newly re-baptized Congo. North-Kivu has been subject to several waves of immigration from Rwanda since the 1920s, setting the stage for the state-condoned ethnic violence of more recent years. In particular, since March of 1993, civilians in the region have been the victims of government policies that inspired extremists and community leaders to take up arms to resolve their disputes. These differences revolved around three intertwined themes: customary and civilian power, citizenship, and land rights. These problems, left festering under the Mobutu regime, have yet to be resolved by the new ADFL government.

The conflict in North-Kivu was complicated and exacerbated by the arrival of ex-FAR and armed militia in the region in July of 1994. Alliances between ethnic groups changed at this point, as they have done several times in North-Kivu from 1993 to the present, while abuses inflicted by armed groups upon the civilian population have remained a constant. From late 1994 until the arrival of the ADFL in North-Kivu, civilian casualties numbered at least in the hundreds, and thousands were displaced from a range of ethnic groups including the Tutsi, Hutu, Hunde, Nyanga, Tembo, and Nande.

Under the Mobutu regime, civilians from the Hunde and other ethnic groups indigenous to the Masisi zone became targets of the FAZ during their operations "Mbata" and "Kimia" in 1996 aimed at eliminating armed militia from these ethnic groups.(49)

Hutu communities in North-Kivu were frequently under attack throughout 1995 and 1996 and displaced by these militia who sought to force all Banyarwanda,(50) including Hutu refugees, "back to Rwanda." Ethnic Tutsi in North-Kivu were subject to increasing attacks by Hutu militia and ex-FAR from mid-1994 through October 1996. Thousands of Tutsi fled North-Kivu to refugee camps in Rwanda throughout 1996 due to these attacks. Ethnic Tutsi throughout Congo came under increasing pressure to flee Congo in the months leading up to October 1996, due to a state-sponsored intimidation campaign against them.(51)

Under the ADFL, civilian killings have continued on an alarming scale in North-Kivu, particularly in the early months of the war and from April 1997 to the present. While some deaths may have been associated with combat between the ADFL or its allies and their foes from the ex-FAR, ex-FAZ , and armed militia, many civilians were deliberately attacked by these different armed groups and the ADFL, resulting in hundreds of deaths.(52),(53)

Many of the killings in recent months have been related to the unresolved issues of land rights, customary power, and political leadership. With the arrival of the ADFL in October and November 1996 and the dispersal of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe, many ethnic Tutsi Congolese attempted to return from exile in Rwanda to their land in the Masisi area. Their return, coupled with rumors of an annexation of North-Kivu and South-Kivu by Rwanda, the installation of ethnic Tutsi to positions in the new civilian administration, and brutal repression by ADFL and RPA forces in Masisi has increased tension among Tutsi civilians and other ethnic groups. Many returning Tutsi have been attacked by what they describe as a mix of ex-FAZ, ex-FAR, and militiamen from indigenous groups including the Mai-Mai.(54)

These attacks have caused several massive displacements of ethnic Tutsi civilians in North-Kivu and an unknown number of civilian deaths. In July 1997, several thousand Tutsi fled the Masisi area after attacks from ex-FAZ, ex-FAR, and militia on villages in the Masisi, Ngungu, and Minova areas. In August, many of these displaced attempted to return to their homes under the protection of RPA troops. Following further attacks, many of these ethnic Tutsi Congolese were again forced out of the Masisi and Goma area in early September, several thousand seeking refuge in Rwanda.(55)

Human Rights Watch/FIDH received numerous reports from the Masisi, Rutshuru, and Nyragongo zones of North-Kivu where civilian killings were carried out by the ADFL or RPA since November of 1996. Villagers and humanitarian workers gave eyewitness accounts of scores of civilians killed by ADFL or RPA troops in the Masisi area during the month of August 1997 alone. In the town of Masisi itself, humanitarian workers counted over sixty bodies of civilians on August 25, 1997 following a raid on the town by ADFL and RPA troops. The general hospital was razed during the raid and the bodies of patients were disposed of in latrines. Other civilian killings in late August took place in the villages of Kalangala and Ruzirantaka, where twenty-four and nineteen people respectively were killed by Kinyarwanda-speaking members of the ADFL or RPA. Among the dead were many women, children and elderly.

Human Rights Watch/FIDH received numerous testimonies in Goma of helicopters being flown repeatedly between Rwanda toward the Masisi area, allegedly for military purposes.(56) Many residents in Goma declared that convoys of trucks of RPA soldiers could be seen routinely entering from Gisenyi, Rwanda and heading into the Masisi area. It is likely that some of these soldiers have been used in the attacks on civilians in the Masisi area described by villagers from the area to Human Rights Watch/FIDH. Residents of Goma also reported a general insecurity in the town due in large part to frequent looting and killings by Rwandan soldiers, who would often slip across the border to Rwanda following abuses.(57)

The lack of functioning legislative or judicial institutions in Congo to address these issues has aggravated the resurgence in violence since March of 1997. It is likely that these cycles of violence will continue or increase in eastern Congo, and perhaps in other provinces, if political solutions to the core problems of citizenship, land rights, and customary power are not found. The commander of Congo's 4th Military Brigade, based in Goma, stated shortly after his arrival in Goma in late July that there would be "no prison for killers, bandits, and armed robbers" and declared that military or bandits caught committing crimes would be subject to public execution.(58)


Beginning in 1994, the international community helped create and perpetuate problems in eastern Congo by dealing only with the humanitarian needs and neglecting the more complex political and military issues concerning the refugee camps. Aware that authorities responsible for the genocide in Rwanda controlled the camps and that soldiers and militia were using them as bases for raids into Rwanda, donor nations still continued to support them. Despite appeals from the UNHCR, humanitarian groups and human rights organizations, they refused to invest the resources needed to separate armed elements from actual refugees or to move the camps further from the Rwandan border. The only solution they offered, partially effective and only for the short-term, was financing FAZ soldiers seconded to the service of the UNHCR.

Not long after seizing power in Kigali in July 1994, Rwandan authorities insisted that the refugees be repatriated and the camps dispersed, an insistence that grew during 1996 as incursions from Zaire increased in number and scale. In the face of such clear warnings, the international community still did not take action to defuse the situation.

When the ADFL attacked the camps, the international community once more addressed simply the humanitarian issues of facilitating repatriation and delivery of aid. It spent a month preparing for a multinational military force to provide security for refugees and humanitarian workers but then dropped the plan after the U.S., the U.K. and Canada decided not to send combat troops.

Having decided against armed intervention, the international community was reduced to repeatedly deploring the ADFL attacks against the refugees and obstruction of humanitarian assistance, whether by the ADFL or the government of Zaire. In the face of reports of massacres, they engaged at most in public protestations and private diplomacy, all of which seemed equally ineffective. Even after the United Nations special rapporteur on Zaire, Roberto Garretón, presented evidence that massacres had occurred in his April 2, 1997 report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the U.N. proposed a more thorough investigation but made no intervention that might have averted subsequent slaughter, such as that to the south of Kisangani in mid to late April 1997 and in Mbandaka on May 13, 1997.

The U.S., torn between concerns for the stability and territorial integrity of Congo and a desire to have the problem of the refugees resolved, long remained silent on the massacres and obfuscated important questions, such as the number of refugees in Congo after November 1996 and the role of Rwandan troops in the ADFL forces. Such positions seemed to indicate backing for the ADFL, a conclusion strongly reinforced by revelations of U.S. military aid to Rwanda. An important number of African nations have also supported Kabila and downplayed or denied accusations of crimes against humanity by his troops.

After mounting an initial effort to seek accountability through a U.N. investigation, the secretary-general and others backed down, permitting Kabila to veto Garretón as chief investigator. More recently, the U.S., the European Union, and the secretary-general appeared ready to meet Kabila's stonewalling with the firmness which if sustained could break the cycle of violence and impunity. African supporters of Kabila, however, have not joined this renewed effort at demanding accountability.

The United States

U.S. policymakers saw the refugee camps as a threat to regional stability. Although the U.S. itself was not prepared to use force to break up the camps, Department of Defense officials had decided as early as August 1995 not to oppose such action by Rwanda, provided it was a "clean" operation, meaning one with limited civilian losses.(59) In August 1996, Kagame informed State Department officials that Rwanda was ready to dismantle the camps if no one else acted, and, according to him, the U.S. took "the right decisions to let it proceed."(60)

As it became clear that the ADFL attacks had caused a new humanitarian crisis, the U.S. eventually agreed to join the multinational force, authorized by the U.N. Security Council, which was to provide assistance to refugees and to facilitate their return home. But within days of the decision, attacks by Kabila's forces drove hundreds of thousands of refugees home, opening the way to a debate between various governmental, U.N. and NGO actors about how many Rwandans were left in Congo. According to a senior administration official, from the start of the crisis the U.S. used the latest technology of satellite and airplane reconnaissance to produce daily and, later, weekly assessments of numbers and locations of refugees. This information was shared at least with UNHCR, raising the possibility that it might have ended up in other hands as well.(61) In a November 1996 briefing in Kigali, U.S. embassy officials told representatives of NGOs that aerial reconnaissance data showed no evidence of the missing hundreds of thousands. Soon after, officials admitted that this assessment had been wrong, because it was based on data relating to a only a small part of the region.(62) In a subsequent statement, that echoed closely the official Rwandan position, the U.S. ambassador in Kigali claimed that refugees remaining in Zaire numbered only in "the tens of thousands."(63) At the December 4, 1996 hearing before the House Internaitonal Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, U.S. officials finally agreed that between 200,000 and 400,000 Rwandans were left in Congo, an estimate at least in the general range of that given by humanitarian NGOs in the field and the UNHCR, which put the number at between 400,000 and 450,000.(64)

The debate over numbers provided a pretext for delaying the force, as was pointed out by critical observers like Representatives Lee Hamilton and Christopher Smith. At the December 4 hearing, Hamilton stated:

I certainly understand that we don't have all the information we want, you never have all the information you want. . . . You always have to operate on less-than-perfect information. . . .(65)

By the time there was general agreement that a minimum of 200,000 persons were still in need of aid, the U.S., followed by the U.K. and Canada, had concluded that a multinational force was not the best way to deliver that aid, thus ensuring its demise.(66)

Throughout this period, the governments of Rwanda and Uganda consistently denied that their soldiers were fighting in Congo, a deception which the U.S. did not publicly question. Like others in Europe, the U.S. knew from the start that Rwanda and Uganda had each sent at least 1,000 troops to support Kabila, but for months it maintained the position that the ADFL was a purely Congolese force.(67) In February 1997, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Kigali embassy told Human Rights Watch/FIDH that "there was no proof" whatsoever that Rwandan troops were present in Congo.(68) Only the U.S. ambassador in Kinshasa, particularly concerned about the territorial integrity of Congo, broke ranks to denounce a Rwandan invasion in January 1997. At about the same time, Washington and Paris moved towards acknowledging the reality by urging Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi to stay out of the fighting. On March 17, the State Department spokesman finally admitted that the U.S. was "still concerned by the flood of reports" about Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian assistance to the ADFL.(69) Several days later, a high-ranking State Department official confirmed to Human Rights Watch/FIDH that Rwandan troops were playing an important part in Congo conflict.(70)

At the December 4, 1996 hearing, Ambassador Richard Bogosian told the congressional panel that the U.S. was "concerned" about reports of human rights violations by the rebels. He went on to say that the U.S. had raised the issue with the governments of Uganda and Rwanda. Implicitly acknowledging the role they played in the abuses, he stated that the U.S. had sent out instructions "to urge restraint on their part . . . ."(71)

The extent of U.S. political, economic and military support for Rwanda raised the question of whether such assistance was also benefiting the ADFL. Questioned closely about this possibility by Representative Smith on December 4, administration officials downplayed U.S. military assistance to Rwanda. Vincent Kern, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense described these military programs as the "softer, kinder, gentler" side of military training, void of any instruction for combat situations or "any of the sort of basic military training that you would get at Fort Bragg; officer training, those sorts of things."(72)

At a hearing by the House International Relations Committee on July 16, 1997, however, testimony by Physicians for Human Rights raised new questions both about massacres in Congo and about U.S. military presence in the region. Following questions by members of Congress, the Department of Defense released a report on August 19, 1997 detailing one training program that included marksmanship, tactical skills and patrolling, small unit leader training, and leadership development training, some of which was conducted by U.S. Army Special Forces, in fact, from Fort Bragg.(73)

At the July 16 hearings, Amb. Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, reiterated the administration position from the December hearings, calling the Kabila government's early human rights record "troubling." He also said that neighboring governments were pressed "to use their influence with the ADFL to ensure respect for internationally recognized human rights.

In August and September, European journalists, citing French intelligence and other sources, charged the U.S. with having its own soldiers in Congo. Witnesses in Kinshasa and Goma reported to Human Rights Watch/FIDH that they had seen U.S. military in Congolese territory on different occasions between November 1996 and August 1997. One eyewitness with extensive military experience reported seeing U.S. Army Special Forces in uniform in the villages of Walikale and Kanyabayonga in North-Kivu on July 23 and July 24, 1997, apparently advising and training RPA soldiers.(74) Other witnesses reported U.S. military in Goma in November 1996 as well as accompanying Ugandan troops in the Ruwenzori area of Congo as recently as August 1997.(75) Senior officials from the National Security Council and the Department of State denied that there had been any U.S. military presence in Congo.(76)

Unwilling to confront Kabila's allies on their role in the massacres, the U.S. took a clearer position on the responsibility of Kabila himself due to increasing reports of massacres in late February and early March 1997. In early April, a high-ranking U.S. official telephoned Kabila to express concern about allegations of massacres and about the problem of access for humanitarian workers.(77) By late April, the U.S. felt compelled to publicly warn Kabila that failing to act "in a credible way and a humanitarian way" could damage his standing in the international community.(78)

Although the U.S. apparently did no more than issue warnings while killings were taking place, it did later support the investigation. When Kabila rejected the presence of Garretón on the investigating team, however, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson played a leading role in negotiating an accomodation with Kabila. Faced with mounting evidence of gross violations of international humanitarian law, officials at the State Department bitterly debated how much human rights considerations should influence policy towards Kabila's new government. In July, they decided that the U.S. could not grant aid to the new government until it had cooperated with the U.N. investigation.

After the team of investigators arrived in Kinshasa on August 24, Kabila attached new conditions to the investigation, as described in the United Nations section below. U.S. officials hesitated and again debated whether taking a strong stand on massive human rights abuses would lead to greater stability in the region, their ultimate goal. Some argued that to do so would rupture relations with Kabila and so end the possibility of future influence in this nation of major importance. Others argued that buying stability by silence was too high a price and would at best produce only a brief halt in violence in the region.(79) By October 1, the U.S. appeared to have decided to insist on some measure of accountability for the massacres and Ambassador Richardson declared that "there should be no negotiations on whether the team would have unimpeded access. It should." On the same day, U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes David Scheffer stated that U.S. aid to Congo would depend on how the Congolese government received the U.N. Mission: "Such assistance is contingent on cooperation with the U.N. investigating team," said Scheffer, adding that "Kinshasa has nothing to gain and much to lose if it continues to obstruct.''(80) Also on October 1, State Department Spokesperson James Foley warned that "it would be an enormously significant setback to the goal of achieving accountability in Central Africa" if Kabila evicted the U.N. team.(81)

Europe and Africa

In November 1996 France and Spain proposed a multinational force to assist the refugees, an effort which France repeated in early March 1997 following publication of dramatic accounts of massacres in the French press. The long French alliance with Mobutu and larger French political interests in the region raised questions about its objectives in urging intervention, however, and other governments refused the March initiative, despite backing from the U.N. secretary-general. France berated other governments for a "conpiracy of silence," but in fact the massacres were frequently denounced by many officials of European governments as well as of the U.N., including Belgian Secretary of State for Development Cooperation Reginald Moreels, European Union Humanitarian Commissioner Emma Bonino, and U.N. and OAU special envoy Ambassador Mahmoud Sahnoun.

Moreels and Sahnoun both evoked the Rwandan genocide in their statements, a reference accurate for the pattern of international behavior: as in 1994, the international community at times denounced but took no effective action to stop the killings and then demanded accountability from the parties responsible only after the fact.

Once Kabila's government was established, some European officials appeared ready to place reconstruction over the needs of justice. On May 28, 1997, European Development Commissioner Joao de deus Pinheiro sent encouraging signals to Kabila and, in August, two delegations visiting Kinshasa, one from Belgium led by Moreels, and one from the European Union, both concluded that the environment in Congo was largely favorable for re-establishing cooperation. More recently, however, on September 24, 1997, the European Union adopted a position similar to that of the U.S. and stated that aid to Congo would be conditioned upon Kabila's cooperation with the U.N. investigative team.

Some of Kabila's military supporters, including Rwanda, Uganda, and Angola, have been joined by others who have offered their encouragement to the new Congolese government. South African President Nelson Mandela referred to Kabila as "an outstanding figure, a dynamic leader"(82) and appeared ready to accept Kabila's assurances that allegations of massacres were false.(83) Other leaders from the region have also sought to protect Kabila's human rights record. Representatives of African states,(84) meeting in Kinshasa at the invitation of Organization of African Unity Chairman and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, expressed their support for Kabila in the face of accusations of mass killings. They denounced with "dismay the persistent unsubstantiated disinformation campaign against the Democratic Republic of Congo" and "condemned this campaign of vilification and the unjustified pressures being exerted on the Democratic Republic of the Congo."(85)

The United Nations

With mounting reports of massacres and other atrocities coming out of the areas of Zaire occupied by the ADFL, on March 6, 1997 the High Commissioner for Human Rights requested that the U.N. special rapporteur for Zaire investigate the allegations. After a short mission to the region, Rapporteur Roberto Garretón issued a preliminary report in which he identified more than forty massacre sites and recommended further investigation by the Commission on Human Rights.(86) Such information led Secretary-General Kofi Annan to denounce the inhumanity of the rebels and to speak of "killing by starvation."

The Commission then directed him, together with the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and a member of the Working Group on Disappearances, to carry out an inquiry into massacres alleged to have taken place since September 1996. The team was mandated to report to the General Assembly (GA) by June 30 and to the Commission's Fifty-Fourth Session in March/April 1998.(87)

When the team, accompanied by forensic experts, arrived in the region in early May, Kabila refused to admit team leader Garretón into Congo, apparently in retaliation for his previous report. After a brief standoff, the team left the region but prepared a report based on sources already available to it.

In separate meetings in early June, Secretary-General Annan and Ambassador Richardson obtained Kabila's agreement that the U.N. investigation would start within a month. In its June 9, 1997 press release, the U.N. implied that the investigation team was to be that appointed by the Commission. But sources both within the U.S. administration and the U.N. told Human Rights Watch that Kabila had been assured that Garretón would not be heading the investigation.(88)

The team headed by Garretón, known as the Joint Investigative Team of the Commission on Human Rights, published a report on July 2, 1997 stating that some of the alleged massacres could constitute acts of genocide (para. 80). It also concluded that "there are reliable indications that persons belonging to one or other of the parties to the conflict . . . probably committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, particularly article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949" and that "[s]uch crimes seem to be sufficiently massive and systematic to be characterized as crimes against humanity" (para. 95).(89)

Although the team had not been able to visit sites in Congo, its conclusions could not be ignored and compelled further investigation. On July 8, the secretary-general was authorized by the Security Council to create an investigative team under his own authority. It was not until more than a month later, however, that the team was actually set up, consisting of Atsu Koffi Amega of Togo, Andrew Chigovera of Zimbabwe, and Reed Brody of the United States, and a support team of several forensic and human rights experts.

Within a few days of the team's arrival in Kinshasa, the Congolese government set new conditions for its work. In an August 27 letter, Minister of Reconstruction Etienne-Richard Mbaya and Minister of International Cooperation Thomas Kanza insisted that: (1) team's Togolese chairman, Mr. Atsu-Koffi Amega, be replaced by someone from a neutral country--an apparent allusion to Togo's close relationship with the prior Zairian government of former President Mobutu Sese Seko; (2) it not be accompanied by its unarmed U.N. security personnel; and, (3) the U.N. investigation be conducted in conjunction with a proposed parallel investigation by the Organization of African Unity.

The secretary-general rejected the additional conditions on August 29 and gave Kabila a deadline of noon September 2 to confirm that the team could begin its work.(90) Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha delivered the assurance by telephone but the secretary-general reportedly insisted on a written confirmation from the country's president.

On September 6 the letter from Kabila finally arrived.(91) It stated that the team could start its work, but insisted that the investigation was to be "limited in time and space" to the period before May 17, the date when Kabila took power, and to the eastern part of the country. In addition, the government insisted that its own team participate in the investigation.

Having by then spent three weeks in Kinshasa without being able to conduct its work, the team decided to test the limits of government compliance. A few members traveled to a refugee camp in Congo-Brazzaville and, on September 13, the team attempted to purchase plane tickets to Mbandaka, in the northwestern part of the country, where a massacre was alleged to have occurred in May. The travel agent refused to sell the tickets and said it was acting under instructions from the government. Meanwhile, the government presented the U.N. with a budget request for $1.7 million to pay the costs of its own team to accompany the investigators, including a per diem payment of $700 for each Congolese member.

On September 16, Minister Mbaya, designated as the government's chief liaison with the team, invited its members to a meeting which turned out to be a media event complete with journalists and five television cameras. The minister informed the team that they were not authorized to go to Mbandaka and, further, should not attempt to go. The minister also read a press statement in which he reiterated all previous government objections and demands, including those related to the time, space, and budget.

Secretary-General Annan and Ambassador Richardson continue to make public statements putting pressure on Kabila to cooperate. Ambassador Richardson recently declared:

We very much wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and to help him, but when it appears that his government turns its back on important international commitments made to the international community, he leaves us with few options.(92)

Following a series of phone and direct contacts between the secretary-general and members of the Congolese government, on October 1, 1997 the secretary-general decided to summon the leaders of the team to the U.N. headquarters in New York for consultations. The forensic and human rights experts remained in Kinshasa as of this writing.

After the Rwandan genocide, the international community insisted on justice for the victims. It has encountered many financial and logistical problems in carrying out that commitment, but its efforts have been made easier because those responsible for the crimes had been defeated. Because the ADFL has been victorious, international actors are finding their commitment to justice complicated by a desire to ensure future good relations with the authorities who may well be charged with serious violations of international law. It remains to be seen if they will realize that firmness in demanding justice does not require ignoring the objectives of stability and prosperity for the region but rather is the best way of promoting those goals.

1. March 1997 to Goma, Congo; May 1997 to Kigali, Rwanda; and June and August of 1997 to Kinshasa.

2. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview with humanitarian organizations in Goma, Congo, August, 1997, and Nairobi, Kenya, July, 1997.

3. North-Kivu has been subject to state-sponsored ethnic conflict for several years, and violent conflict since March of 1993. This complex conflict has ebbed and flowed in North-Kivu over the past several years, and likely resulted in thousands of civilian deaths.

4. According to UNHCR officials in Goma, Congo.


6. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview in Nairobi, July 28, 1997.

7. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview in Goma, Congo with villagers from the Nyragongo zone, August, 1997.

8. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with aid workers in Kinshasa, Nairobi, and Goma, July-August 1997.

9. Ibid.

10. Howard French, "Hope for Congo's Revolution Dissolves Over Old Tensions," New York Times, September 28, 1997.

11. U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Integrated Regional Information Network. "Great Lakes: IRIN Update 257 for 26 September, 1997."

12. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview with humanitarian organization in Goma, Congo, August 28, 1997.

13. Ibid.

14. Villagers referred to these soldiers simply as "Rwandans" or "Burundians" or "Ugandans" or "Tutsi".

15. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with aid workers in Goma and Kinshasa, Congo, August, 1997.

16. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with relatives and colleagues of Mr. Kahama in Kinshasa and in Haut-Congo, August 1997.

17. Letter of appeal for assistance from Haki za Binadamu, September 15, 1997; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview with Haki za Binadamu staff in Kinshasa, August, 1997.

18. Letter of appeal for assistance from Haki za Binadamu, September 15, 1997; interview with National Council of Development NGOs in Kinshasa.

19. Human Rights Watch/Africa interview with a non-governmental organization in Goma, Congo.

20. Situation Report from a humanitarian NGO operating in eastern Congo, April 13, 1997.

21. John Pomfret, "Rwanda Planned and Led the Attack on Zaire," Washington Post, July 9, 1997.

22. Ibid.

23. Integrated Regional Information Network, Update 245, September 10, 1997.

24. In his interview with the Washington Post, Kagame does not deny the possibility of "individual atrocities".

25. In addition to numerous reports describing this tension, three separate shooting incidents in three different provinces occurred between Rwandan and Katangan elements during the Human Rights Watch/FIDH stay in Congo. At least four military deaths resulted.

26. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Mbandaka, August 20, 1997.

27. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, U.S. Embassy, Kinshasa, August 22, 1997.

28. John Pomfret, "Rwandans Led Revolt in Congo," Washington Post, July 9, 1997.

29. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews in Kinshasa and Goma, August 1997.

30. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview with aid workers in Goma, November 1996.

31. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with U.S. Embassy official, Kinshasa, August 22, 1997, and aid workers in Goma, August 28, 1997.

32. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with development workers of Mbandaka, Kinshasa, August 5, 1997.

33. Human Rights Watch/FIDH telephone interviews with aid workers formerly in Mbandaka, July 1997.

34. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview with colleague of David, Congo, August 27, 1997.

35. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with eyewitnesses between Kisangani and Mbandaka, August 1997.

36. Colin Nickerson, "Refugee Massacre Unfolds in Congo," Boston Globe, June 6, 1997.

37. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, first village, Kinshasa, and Nairobi, July and August, 1997.

38. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with journalists and aid workers in the field, July and September 1997.

39. Ibid.

40. Human Rights Watch/FIDH telephone interviews with U.N. officials in Europe, July 1997.

41. Human Rights Watch/FIDH telephone interview with journalist in Washington, September 30, 1997.

42. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Congo, Nairobi, and New York, July-September 1997.

43. Ibid

44. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with journalists, aid workers, and U.N. officials, July-September 1997.

45. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Nairobi, March and August 1997.

46. James McKinley, "Serb Who Went to Defend Zaire Spread Death and Horror Instead," New York Times, March 19, 1997.

47. Ibid.

48. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, UNHCR official, September 1997.

49. Primarily Hunde and Nyanga, these militia included members of the Nande, Tembo, and other groups.

50. Banyarwanda are people whose ancestors are from Rwanda.

51. Human Rights Watch/FIDH, "Forced to Flee: Violence Against the Tutsis in Zaire"; Human Rights Watch/FIDH, "Attacked By All Sides,"; Human Rights Watch/Africa, "Transition, War and Human Rights".

52. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews in Goma, Congo with villagers from the Masisi zone, August, 1997.

53. Mission d'enquete sur la situation des droits de l'homme dans la province du Nord-Kivu, Action paysanne pour la reconstruction et le developpement communitaire integral, September, 1997.

54. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with returnees in Gisenyi, Rwanda, September, 1997.

55. Ibid.

56. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews in Goma, Congo with several individuals including an international pilot, August 27, 1997.

57. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews in Goma, Congo, August 26, 1997.

58. Integrated Regional Information Network, Emergency Update No. 227 on the Great Lakes, August 8, 1997.

59. Human Rights Watch/FIDH field notes, August 1995.

60. John Pomfret, Washington Post, July 9, 1997.

61. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews by telephone, one with a senior administration official, October 3, 1997.

62. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview by telephone , London, October 6; Chris Mc Greal, "Officials Play Numbers With Missing Refugees," The Guardian, November 25, 1996.

63. Refugees International, "Refugees International Demands Recall of U.S. Envoy from Kigali," November

21, 1996, November 1997.

64. Conversation with UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner, Kinshasa, December, 1997.

65. Hearing of the International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee, December 4, 1996.

66. Human Rights Watch/FIDH, "Attacked by All Sides," page 13.

67. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Washington, October 29, 1996; James Rupert and Thomas W. Lippman, "U.S. Stance on Zaire Draws Foreign Fire," Washington Post, March 15, 1997.

68. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, February 12, 1997.

69. Reuter, "U.S. Troubled by Reports of Aid to Zaire Rebels," March 17, 1997.

70. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Washington, March 20, 1997.

71. U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations hearing, December 4, 1996.

72. Ibid.

73. The report was written in response to a request from U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman.

74. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview in Congo, August, 1997; an August 19 Defense Department report, as well as statements by the U.S. ambassasor to Rwanda during the same month, confirmed that there were U.S. Army Special Forces involved in a training program in August at the Gako military camp in Rwanda.

75. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews in Kinshasa and Goma, August, 1997; during this period, U.S. Army Special Forces were conducting trainings for the African Crisis Response Initiative in nearby Fort Portal, Uganda.

76. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview in Washington, D.C., September 8 and 9, 1997.

77. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Washington, April 2, 1997.

78. Reuters, "Annan and the United States Warn Zairean Rebels," April 24, 1997.

79. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Washington, September 8 and 9, 1997.

80. "U.S. Withholds Congo Aid," Associated Press wire story, September 24, 1997.

81. AFP wire story, "U.S. Warns Kabila Aid at Stake over Human Rights Probe," October 1, 1997.

82. Sapa-dpa wire story, Harare, May 21, 1997.

83. Integrated Regional Information Network, Emergency Update 235 for August 26, 1997.

84. In attendance at the meeting were representatives of Angola, Central African Republic, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. IRIN, "DRC: Joint Communique of the Kinshasa Meeting 20 July 1997."

85. Ibid.

86. E/CN.4/1997/6/Add.2

87. Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/58, para. 6.

88. The June 9, 1997 statement in which Ralph Zacklin, the Officer-in-Charge of the High Commissioner/Centre for Human Rights, welcomed the arrangement reached between the U.N. and Laurent Kabila, mentioned, among other things, that members of the Commission's Joint Investigative Team had been informed of the developments; HR/97/35.

89. A/51/942.

90. August 29, 1997 letter by Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan to President Laurent-Désiré Kabila.

91. September 6, 1997 letter from Laurent-Désiré Kabila addressed to the Secretary-General.

92. Editorial, "Cloud Over Congo," Washington Post, September 1997.