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Q & A

1. What does the report address?
It maps and documents “the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed with the territory of the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003.”

2. Which entity was responsible for producing the report?
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights under the leadership of Navanethem Pillay was responsible for producing the report

3. Why has this report generated such widespread press reports?
The claim that the victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda may be culpable of committing a genocide in the Congo has generated a great deal of interest.

4. Why was the report leaked?
The authors of the report indicated that they were concerned that the language of “genocide” may be watered down before the official publishing of the document, therefore they felt it necessary to leak the report to safeguard the integrity of the report. See Le Monde August 27, 2010

5. Did the report actually charge Rwanda with committing genocide in the Congo?
No it said “it will be for a competent court to make a decision on the issue.”

6. A lot of the focus has been on Rwanda; does the report focus on other countries?
Yes, it does. It looks at the commission of human rights violations by numerous external players such as Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Zimbabwe and others. Also, it documents some of the internal human rights violations that have taken place internally.

7. Is it true that core elements of the mapping report was established in other UN reports as early as 1997?
Yes, in the late 1990s, the United Nations charged Roberto Garreton then to investigate human rights violations in the Congo. Garreton’s report documented gross human rights violations, crimes against humanity and possible genocide.

8. What initiated the launch of this report?
The discovery of three mass graves in North Kivu in 2005 was a stark reminder to the United Nations that the past human rights violations in the Congo had remained largely uninvestigated.  This prompted the UN to reactivate earlier UN investigative efforts but on a much larger scale.

9. What is the ultimate purpose of the report?
The ultimate purpose of the study as outlined by its authors is “to provide Congolese authorities with the elements they need to help them decide on the best approach to adopt to achieve justice for the many victims and fight widespread impunity for these crimes.”

10. Seeing that the report has referenced charges of genocide, does the International Criminal Court (ICC) have a role to play in bringing perpetrators to justice?
When a state is either unwilling or unable to carry out investigations and prosecute, the ICC is brought in, however, the ICCs jurisdiction is limited only to crimes under international law committed in the DRC since July 1, 2002 and most of the crimes addressed in the mapping report occurred before 2002.