In response to a European initiative, the United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday deliberated the situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling on all conflict parties to immediately end human rights violations and ensure the protection of the civilian population. The resolution also condemned the widespread sexual violence against women and girls in particular as well as the deployment and recruitment of child soldiers.
Federal Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued today (2 December) in Brussels the following statement welcoming the adoption of the resolution:
"The international community must not stand idly by in the face of the serious human rights violations taking place in eastern Congo. I therefore welcome yesterday's adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution that takes a clear stand on this issue. It has hereby lived up to its responsibility to place serious human rights violations on the agenda.
I appeal urgently to all conflict parties in the Congo to at last take steps to improve protection for the civilian population. I call in particular on the Government in Kinshasa to do everything possible to ensure those responsible for the crimes are called to account and human rights violations do not go unpunished."