Covid-19 must not forget the massacres in the east, warns Dr Mukwege

The Nobel Peace Prize winner 2018 on Tuesday published a press release urging the DR Congo authorities to “demonstrate”, as for the Covid-19 crisis, “real political will to put an end to the uncertainty in the east for the DRC”.

“The Covid-19 crisis should not make us forget the atrocities that continue in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in indifference,” warned on Tuesday, May 19, gynecologist Denis Mukwege, the Nobel Peace Prize 2018.

“The civilian massacre” continues in Ituri and North Kivu, the Congolese doctor accuses in a press release.

More than 400 civilians have been massacred by the armed group of Ugandan origin ADF since November in northern Kivu where new violence has been reported for several days.

To see >> War in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The Ravages of Impunity

At least five people were killed on Tuesday during an attack on Mayi Moya 40 km north of Beni, the area administrator and civil society told an AFP correspondent.

In total, 15 civilians were massacred in less than 48 hours by the ADF, according to the bill, Tuesday, by the local NGO to defend Cepadho’s human rights.

Nearly 300 civilians were massacred in Ituri in 2020

Nearly 300 civilians have been massacred since the beginning of the year in Ituri, including about 20 at night May 16-17. Violence is attributed to an ethno-mystical group, Codeco (cooperative for the development of the Congo).

“In southern Kivu, the Rwandan and Burundian armies are fighting in armed groups located in the Minembwe highlands and destroying everything on their way,” Dr. Mukwege.

>> Read: DR Congo: 200,000 people forced to flee Ituri because of the violence

“And in Tanganyika, the Zambians who, until its good neighborly relations with the DR Congo, as well as our neighbors in the east, invaded our territory with incalculable consequences for our population,” he adds.

“The armed forces of the DRC are on guard” on the border with Zambia where “the army continues the occupation of two towns” on Congolese territory, the defense minister said on Friday rendering the Council of Ministers.

Doctor Mukwege wants “an international criminal court for DRK”

“Against Covid-19, the government has shown that it can show political will,” said Dr Mukwege, himself responsible for the healthcare team in his province in South Kivu.

“It is urgent for our authorities to also show a genuine political will to put an end to the uncertainty in the east of the DRC,” he says.

He appeals for “the establishment of an international criminal court for the Democratic Republic of Congo” and a “in-depth reform of the security and justice sectors”, solutions to impunity according to him in a UN report of ten years ago.

Dozens of armed groups are active in eastern DRC, small local militia and large armed and very deadly structures (Codeco in Ituri, ADF and FDLR in northern Kivu).

Eleven armed groups active in Lubero’s territory (northern Kivu) on Monday said in a statement “immediate cessation of hostilities in all areas under our control”.

With AFP