Civilians in peril as tensions in DR Congo escalate: HRW
The Human Rights Watch has stated that the fighting between government forces and armed groups in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo could endanger the safety of civilians. The human rights group made a statement late on Wednesday night calling the DRC’s forces and the M23 group to minimize the harm to civilians during the new escalated fighting. The HRW also called for the groups to avoid repeating the widespread abuse that has occurred in the country when there has been fighting between government officials and the rebels.
The M23 group has been responsible for human rights violations in the past and the renewed fighting is re-raising concerns for the civilians in the North Kivu area. The violence resumed on May 22 and has caused tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. The M23 group originally consisted of soldiers who caused a mutiny from the DRC army in April and May 2012. The group captured Goma before being 0ushed back into Rwanda and Uganda by UN troops. The forces executed dozens of civilians, raped women and girls and forcible recruited hundreds of men and young boys for their cause. The group resurfaced in November when it attacked the DRC’s army and tensions escalated in late April when Kenya held talks with the DRC and armed groups in Nairobi.