U.N. calls for immediate calm in DRC

July 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM   |   Comments

UNITED NATIONS, July 17 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council called on rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo to "immediately" put an end to their violent campaign in the country's east.

Members of the March 23 Movement, loyal to rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, mutinied in April, complaining the government reneged on a peace agreement that saw their integration into national security forces.

The international community has condemned ongoing violence focused in the east of the country. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed frustration with atrocities allegedly committed by M23.

The Security Council called on M23 and "all armed groups" to "cease immediately any further advances and all forms of violence in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and urge that the commanders of M23, including Bosco Ntaganda, who is the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant, be apprehended and brought to justice."

The ICC recently issued a second arrest warrant to Ntaganda on war crimes charges. The first warrant is for the alleged use of child soldiers.

Pillay called for a fair appeal trial in a case involving the alleged 2010 slaying of Congolese human rights activist Floribert Chebeya Bahizire and the disappearance of his driver.

"Mr. Chebeya was a pioneer of the human rights movement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his murder sent a devastating blow to human rights defenders across the country," she said in a statement.

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