Free World Foundation welcomes the release of the final version of the Mapping Report, a UN sponsored report into the killings of Hutu civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1993 and 2003.
The allegations of Hutu civilians being shot, raped, burnt or beaten must be condemned by all well-meaning people. This is clearly in violation of articles 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which say that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” and “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” respectively. It is also against article 2 clause 2 of the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which says “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture”.
As a member of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (C.I.C.C), Free World Foundation is calling on the international community to ensure that the necessary legal framework is put in place for the possible prosecution of the alleged perpetrators (including Rwandan, Burundian and Ugandan forces). This would ensure that the victims of these heinous crimes get justice.
The threat by President Paul Kagame to withdraw Rwandan troops from UN peacekeeping operations in response to the report and Uganda’s threat to do same must not stop the international community from pushing for a full scale judicial enquiry to determine whether or not there was a deliberate attempt to destroy the Hutu ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Genocide is too serious a crime to be committed and every effort must be made to determine whether the incidents documented in the Mapping report really amount to the crime of genocide.