The United Nations has announced that it would document all violations of human rights during the joint operations by the Ugandan and DR Congo armies in eastern Congo against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group.
“The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) is going to document the violations of human rights within the context of the joint operations carried out by the Congolese and Ugandan armies,” Aziz Thioye, the UNJHRO Director in the DR Congo announced in Kinshasa on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Thioye said the indiscriminate bombardments (carried out by Uganda when the operations began) may have caused collateral damage that “threatened the lives and physical integrity of persons who are with the ADF against their wishes.”
The UN official stated this during the bi-weekly press conference of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
“The effective fact that the bombardments were launched without notice might have caught some individuals who were in the zone which is an agricultural zone, unawares,” he explained, adding that it is necessary to wait for concrete elements to be available on how many persons were killed.
“There is a school that was temporarily occupied by the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in the locality of Kamango where there was an interruption of classes, which is considered as a violation of international law,” Thioye indicated.
On Tuesday, the Ugandan army announced they had shelled three ADF bases and on Nov. 30, the UPDF, with the agreement of the Congolese authorities, had bombarded ADF positions in the Virunga national park before the Ugandan land forces entered Congolese territory.
The ADF is accused by Kampala of being responsible for recent attacks on Ugandan territory claimed by the Islamic State which presents the ADF as its Central African province.
Based in eastern DR Congo near the border with Uganda since 1995, the ADF is considered the most murderous armed group operating in eastern Congo and responsible for the massacre of thousands of civilians.
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