Congo Crisis: Human Rights Groups Call for Urgent Appointment of Special Envoy and Sanctions

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–November 21, 2012. The Enough Project joined a coalition of human rights organizations—which includes Humanity United, Open Society Institute, Eastern Congo Initiative, and the European Network for Central Africa—urging the United Nations to appoint a special envoy that would work with the African Union in creating a regional peace process to address the escalating conflict in eastern Congo. Earlier today, the M23 rebel movement took control of Goma, a major city in eastern Congo, highlighting the urgency of this unfolding crisis.

The coalition issued a statement calling on the U.N. Security Council and African Union to apply sanctions against all individuals identified in the most recent Group of Experts report as violating the U.N. arms embargo on Congo, including the Rwandan military and political officers supporting and directing the M23. Further, the coalition urged bilateral donors to Rwanda to continue and expand the suspension of all aid programs that are not explicitly allocated for civilian humanitarian needs.

Aaron Hall, Enough Project Associate Director of Research said:

“The U.N., with support from the U.S. government, needs to ensure that a strong international response is brought to bear on this massive humanitarian crisis in eastern Congo. Sanctioning the leadership of M23 alone is not enough. The U.N. should quickly appoint an envoy to work with the African Union that would create a peace process to include all those actors that perpetually fan the flames of conflict in the region. Until the systemic drivers of violence and regional intervention in eastern Congo are addressed, this scenario will just continue to repeat itself.”    

Since the onset of the M23 rebellion in April 2012, more than 650,000 people in the region have been displaced by the ongoing violence. The human rights groups stressed the need for a credible internationally-facilitated political process that focuses immediately on a cessation of hostilities, followed by long-term solutions to address the underlying roots of conflict in the region.

Read the full statement.

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

Source: http://www.enoughproject.org