Congolese Human Rights Activist Present To US Congress
Congolese activist Justine Masika Bihamba of Synergie Des Femmes pour les victimes des Violences Sexuelle Breaks The Silence and presented the case of Congolese Women to the U.S. Congress today. The recommendations she made are as follows:
1. Restore peace in the eastern DRC and in the whole region
2. Give attention to political developments in Kinshasa and in the other provinces as well as the eastern DRC. The DRC will remain fragile until the state is strengthened so that it has the power to reinforce constitutionalism and good governance.
3. Promote dialogue, based on mutual respect and partnership, between the international community and the government of the DRC toward genuine development and a resolution of the conflict.
4. Help the government of the DRC to create a truly unified, effective and disciplined army which is the backbone of lasting security in eastern Congo. The training of different battalions by different partners with different military cultures must be replaced by a better coordinated and complementary approach.
5. Put pressure on the government of Rwanda to open its democratic space and to allow for negotiations to find a solution to the problem of the FDLR: the solution is political.
6. Build a coherent coordinated multilateral response to the challenge of the DRC. In spite of the huge budget spent on the Congo peace process the results are still well below expectations. If the international community wants to make a difference, it must show that its members are ready to work together.
7. End impunity. Support the creation of an international tribunal based in the DRC with a system of mixed chambers where international and Congolese judges work side by side on cases of past violations of human rights. The presence of the international tribunal in DRC would ensure that it would be close to the victims and less danger of evidence corruption. Mutual control and support among international and Congolese judges would diminish the danger of corruption.
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