AFJN is co-hosting a Congressional Briefing to shed light on the UN Mapping Exercise Report which documents atrocities in Democratic Republic of Congo. This event is free and open to the public.

What: Briefing on the UN Mapping Exercise Report and its Implications for US Policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region

Who: African Great Lakes Advocacy Coalition (Africa Faith and Justice Network, Friends of the Congo, Foreign Policy in Focus, African Great Lakes Action Network, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda, Congo Global Action Coalition, International Humanitarian Law Institute of St. Paul, Mobilization for Peace and Justice in Congo)

Speakers: Bahati Jacques, Africa Faith and Justice Network Nita Evele, Congo Global Action Coalition Professor Nii Akuetteh, Founder, The Democracy & Conflict Research Institute, DCRI; and Founding Executive Director of OSIWA Emira Woods, Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute of Policy Studies When: 2 P.M. – 4 P.M. Wednesday, March 2, 2011 Where: Room 2226 Rayburn House Office Building 45 Independence Ave SW Washington, DC 20515

RSVP: or 202-584-6512 Contacts: Friends of the Congo Learm about the crimes in the report here (nine minutes video)

On October 1, 2010, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) released the official “Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003”. This report was leaked to the French newspaper Le Monde on August 26. It immediately drew strong and negative reactions from Congo’s neighbors that were identified in the report as committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide.

Although the report deals with crimes committed inside Congo and calls for justice for the Congolese people, both Rwanda and Uganda have dismissed the report as an attack against their governments. Human Rights Watch executive director, Kenneth Roth says: “This detailed and thorough report is a powerful reminder of the scale of the crimes committed in Congo and of the shocking absence of justice. These events can no longer be swept under the carpet. If followed by strong regional and international action, this report could make a major contribution to ending the impunity that lies behind the cycle of atrocities in the Great Lakes region of Africa.”

Given the US interests and ongoing active involvement in Africa’s the Great Lakes region, Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, reacted to the release of the report in a press statement saying: “The United States is firmly committed to helping the DRC and other nations in the region take positive steps to end the corrosive cycle of violence and impunity.”

The United States has a key role and responsibility in making sure that justice is delivered to the people of Central Africa, particularly considering that US allies Rwanda and Uganda are implicated in heinous crimes against humanity, war crimes and possibly genocide. The American taxpayers should be assured that their tax dollars are not supporting mass atrocities in Africa and perpetuating a war which has killed nearly 6 million people, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II. The Congressional briefing can serve as a solid first step in delivering justice to the people in the heart of Africa. Read more about this issues here.

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