DR Congo: UN Experts to Investigate Kasai Region Violence

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a resolution on June 23, 2017, directing the UN high commissioner for human rights to send a team of international experts to investigate alleged human rights violations and abuses in the central Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese government has agreed to cooperate, including by facilitating access. The final resolution incorporates language from proposals prepared by the African and European groups at the Council.

“The Human Rights Council-mandated international investigation brings hope of uncovering the truth about the horrific violence in the Kasai region since August, a step toward justice for thousands of victims,” said Laila Matar, UN advocate at Human Rights Watch. “The UN, the Human Rights Council, and above all the Congolese authorities now need to ensure unhindered access and all the support the team needs to independently produce a robust and credible report.”

Since large-scale violence broke out in the central Kasai region in August 2016, more than 3,300 people have been killed, according to a report by the Catholic Church. More than 1.3 million people have been displaced, and more than 600 schools have been attacked or destroyed. Two UN experts were murdered in March while investigating human rights abuses in the region.

The high commissioner is to update the Human Rights Council in March 2018 with the team’s participation and will submit a final report with the team’s findings next June.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over Congo, should consider investigating the crimes committed in the Kasai region and, evidence permitting, take steps to hold those most responsible to account, Human Rights Watch said. In March, the prosecutor said she was “
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Didier Reynders welcomes adoption by Human Rights Council of a resolution on the human rights in Kasai

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the adoption by the Human Rights Council, on June 23 2017, of a resolution on the human rights situation in Kasai, and the creation of a mission of inquiry by the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations. In particular, he welcomes the efforts of High Commissioner Zeid and the European Union to advance the cause of human rights through a consensual text. Although it does not include all the more ambitious proposals presented by the EU, the text presented is an undeniable step forward.

The text, justified by the seriousness of the situation, strongly condemns the violence and all the human rights violations committed by all the parties in Kasai. It calls the authorities to exert their responsibility to respect and guarantee human rights. The resolution also provides for the deployment to Kasai by the High Commissioner of a team of independent international experts to determine the facts and circumstances of human rights violations so that their perpetrators, irrespective of their affiliation, be brought to justice. For Belgium, it is essential that this text contributes to the fight against impunity in Kasai in order to break down the cycle of violence. The Human Rights Council will be informed periodically through reports on the implementation of this mandate, which will allow for an appropriate follow-up.

Belgium welcomes the fact that the negotiations have resulted in widespread support for this resolution, including within the region, which reinforces its weight. The DRC’s support for this resolution commits the Congolese authorities, who will have to facilitate access to the territory to the commission, and allow it to function according to international standards and therefore in complete independence and impartiality. As a member of the Human Rights Council, Belgium will continue to watch closely the implementation of the demands contained in the resolution and to the humanitarian and human rights situation in Kasai.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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Source:: Didier Reynders welcomes adoption by Human Rights Council of a resolution on the human rights in Kasai

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SA Mission at Work: Minister Plenipotentiary Cassimjee’s Business Trip to Frankfurt

Minister Plenipotentiary Cassimjee accompanied by the Foreign Economic Representative Mr Jacob Moatshe undertook a business trip to Frankfurt this week. On the busy agenda was the attendance of the Award Ceremony of the Hessian Export Prize 2017 hosted by the Hessian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Hessian Ministry for Economy, Energy, Transport and State Development under the patronage of Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development.

Meetings to promote relations with South Africa were also held with Mr Ingo Schon, Head of the Europe and International Department, Hesse State Chancellery and Dr. Knöll, Head of Division, International Department, Hesse State Chancellery to discuss further cooperation possibilities between Hessen and South Africa.

Being in Frankfurt, Minister Plen Cassimjee also used the opportunity to visit South Africa’s key stakeholders in this important financial city, e.g. South African Tourism country Manager Theresa Bay-Müller, South African Airways Manager Michael Bentele, as well as South Africa’s Honorary Consul Dr. Kohlhaussen, a former CEO of Commerzbank.

Last but not least, Minister Plen Cassimjee and the Foreign Economic Representative Mr Jacob Moatshe visited Heraeus, a precious metal and technology (catalytic converters) company with two plants in SA (PE and Boksburg). Here they were warmly received by the Executive Vice President Hans-Günter Ritter and Communications Officer Michael Schattenmann who expressed their continued satisfaction with their operations in South Africa.

Distributed by APO on behalf of South African Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany.

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Source:: SA Mission at Work: Minister Plenipotentiary Cassimjee’s Business Trip to Frankfurt

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Thirty Fourth (34th) Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC)

When: 27th – 28th June 2017 at 09:00am

Where: Medium Conference Hall – African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The PRC will be officially opened by the Chairperson of the PRC, with welcome remarks by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, followed by a group photo of the Ambassadors with the Members of the Commission.

Who: African Union Commission

Theme: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth”

Objectives: The PRC meeting is the first statutory meeting of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the AU, which will be held from 27th June to 4th July. The PRC meeting will prepare the agenda of the AU Summit with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Executive Council, scheduled to take place from 30th June – 1st July 2017. The meeting will bring together all the Ambassadors of the 55 African Union member states based in Addis Ababa and other key AU officials.

Media personnel are invited to cover this event.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Thirty Fourth (34th) Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC)

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