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[Declaration] The failure to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is unacceptable!

April 2008

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    DECLARATION

    The failure to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is unacceptable!

FIACAT and the DRC ACAT deeply regret the decision of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to discontinue the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite serious concerns about human rights in that country.

It was pressure from the African group and the support of countries from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), China and Russia that persuaded the Council to ratify by "consensus" the failure to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this despite numerous reports from civil society and international organisations condemning the human rights situation in that country.

Abolishing this mandate means opening a new breach in the special procedures mechanism inherited from the former Commission on Human Rights. Following the previous failures to renew the mandates of the Rapporteurs for Cuba and Belarus in June 2006, the geographic mandates have been specifically targeted. Some of the Council countries would like to see them disappear. They take the view that the new mechanism known as the Universal Periodic Review, under which all UN member countries are to be examined, is sufficient.

The mechanism which the African Resolution proposes for the DRC, comprising seven thematic rapporteurs, is too weak. The DRC is pinpointed in all UN reports. Reports have also come in of massacres in the Lower Congo, and impunity is widespread. Back-tracking in this way is unacceptable!

Contact:
Nathalie Jeannin
Tel. (33) 1 42 80 01 60 – n.jeannin@fiacat.org


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