(New York) - Human Rights Watch has repeatedly condemned the atrocities committed by a group involved in the fighting in Eastern Congo, Human Rights Watch said today, responding to a statement made by the UN envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The UN special representative of the secretary-general, Alan Doss, made the statement in a news release on April 30, 2009, that Human Rights Watch had not condemned the atrocities of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
"Human Rights Watch has repeatedly and vigorously denounced the war crimes being committed by FDLR combatants in no fewer than four recent news releases," said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "We urge those concerned by the situation in the Congo to read these detailed and disturbing reports."
Human Rights Watch was one of the first organizations to denounce publicly the tactic of reprisal attacks against civilians by the FDLR in North and South Kivu provinces. In news releases on February 13, April 8, April 23, and April 29, Human Rights Watch documented the brutal and widespread killing of civilians, including children, and the rape of dozens of women and girls by FDLR combatants.
In its February 13 news release, Human Rights Watch said that these killings were of "ghastly proportions" and, in this and subsequent releases, the organization condemned the attacks as war crimes, calling on those responsible to be held to account.