We, members of the Coalition of Congolese organizations for Transitional Justice (CCJT in French), welcome the publication of the report of the UN Mapping Project about the serious violations of Human Rights and international humanitarian law committed in the Democratic Republic Congo. This long awaited publication has confirmed that crimes will never go unpunished and that the perpetrators will have to answer for their actions.The Congolese Coalition for Transitional Justice, endorse this report because it meets its objectives which amongst other things are : an inventory of all crimes committed in the past on the territory of the DRC and to find appropriate mechanisms to eradicate violence. The CCJT also conducted in 2007 public consultations on the various mechanisms to could be implemented to deal with past and unpunished crimes. These consultations have been conducted in the provinces of South Kivu, North Kivu, Katanga and Orientale have allowed the CCJT to publish a report in July 2008 containing statistical data on these consultations and also some interesting findings. The CCJT would also like to invite the Congolese and other friends of the DRC to take at this of report entitled “The management of past crimes in DRC “. The CCJT acknowledges the various reactions that were recorded in the media after the publication of the report of UN Mapping Justice Project in the DRC and other the countries. This illustrates the attention paid to the contents of the report in question. In the wake of the publication of this report, some observers and other actors in the congolese crisis believe that the Government of the DRC, which in principle should be the main supporter of the publication of this report, does not seem to respond formally to the findings of the report and also is not prepared to implement the recommendations.
In addition, the CCJT advocates for the protection of persons involved in the publication of this report. The defenders of human rights and journalists risk to pay the price of their involvement in the ”Mapping Justice Project” report. In these circumstances,there is also a risk that some MPs and government members whose involvement in crimes is identified in the report take advantage of their positions to prevent their prosecution.
The CCJT suggests that :
- The civil society organizes the distribution of this report to all the congolese people and also make sure that the government take its responsibilities concerning the report
- The report be viewed as the end of impunity in DRC and a first step towards reconciliation in the Great Lakes region
- The security of all members of civil society, beginning with human rights defenders who have participated directly and indirectly in the collection of data be guaranteed.
- We seize the opportunity of the upcoming elections to ensure that the alleged perpetrators of crimes do not continue hold any official positions
- We ensure that the electoral law of the DRC does not allow criminals and individuals facing criminals to run for public offices
- That sufficient resources be allocated to the civil society in order to effectively monitor the actions of the government on the judicial level.
Written at Bukavu, September 10, 2010
For the CCJT