Democratic Republic of Congo - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (21 June 2017)

Q - Can you confirm that the Europe group in the Human Rights Council has withdrawn its proposal for an independent investigatory mission and is supporting the proposal of the Africa group, whose allows the Congolese government to direct the investigation into massacres of which it itself is partially accused? What led it to make that decision?

How do you respond to a UN official who said that the even just announcement of an independent investigation could have brought an end to the massacres? Does it mean that you’re calling into question the affirmations of the high commissioner when he points to the responsibility of the authorities in certain massacres under way in the Kasai, the insufficiency of Congolese investigations, and the obstruction of UN investigations?

How do you respond to the investigations published by RFI showing that certain Congolese army officers deployed in Greater Kasai have already been accused of massacres in eastern Congo? (In fact one of them is already the target of EU sanctions; another was already the focus of the Congolese military court as part of an investigation that had already received technical support from the UN.)

A- As we said yesterday, France is concerned by the serious human rights violations perpetrated in the Kasai region since the summer of 2016. It is imperative to shed all possible light on these atrocities.

In this regard, we consider it necessary for the UN Human Rights Council to open an investigation in cooperation with the Congolese authorities.

France is working with its European partners in Geneva to achieve this goal and to make it possible to send a team of international experts [to the Congo].

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