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22 Per cent Of Human Rights Abuses In DR Congo In 2020 Were Committed By Army – Report

The highest number of human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2020 were committed by elements of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo popularly known by the French acronym FARDC.

According to a just published annual report by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 22 per cent of these abuses were committed in the category of state agents.

The majority of these violations of human rights (92 per cent) were committed in the provinces affected by conflict. 

The said provinces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo are Lower-Uele, Upper-Uele, Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema as well as the provinces of Kasai, Kasai Oriental, Kasai Central and Tanganyika province.

The state agents in this category, according to the report, include the Congolese National Police, soldiers of the Forces Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo (FARDC), agents of the National Intelligence Agency, administrative and judicial authorities as well as other agents of the state.

The report reveals that in 2020, soldiers of the FARDC were responsible for 1,726 human rights violations, agents of the Congolese National Police 1,340 violations, agents of the National Intelligence Agency committed 189 violations and other state agents were responsible for 300 human rights violations.

Comparatively, in 2019, soldiers of the FARDC were responsible for 1,826 human rights violations, Congolese National Police agents committed 1,297 abuses, the National Intelligence Agency agents committed 101 violations while other state agents were responsible for 330 human rights violations.

“It is almost certain these human rights violations by security operatives have been grossly under-estimated especially as most of the victims hardly report the abuses committed against them for fear of reprisals which could in some cases result in death,” a civil society human rights activist told HumAngle in Kinshasa on Thursday.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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