EU calls for end to DRC violence

June 27, 2012 at 10:12 AM
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BRUSSELS, June 27 (UPI) -- Conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is taking a toll on the civilian population and must come to an immediate end, an EU official said.

Conflict in DRC has escalated since an April mutiny by rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda. His forces were incorporated into the military under the terms of a 2006 peace deal, though he says the government isn't living up to its end of the deal.

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union's commissioner for civilian protection, said the DRC conflict needs to come to an end.

"Populations are being taken hostage and are paying a heavy price because of the fighting between armed groups and the regular Congolese army," she said in a statement. "Innocent people are being killed, raped and forced to flee their homes."

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the human rights record for anti-government forces is "appalling." Many, she said, may be responsible for war crimes. Ntaganda is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Georgieva said more than 222,000 people were displaced by conflict since fighting began in April.

"The European Commission calls on all humanitarian and development donors to devote more resources to helping the people affected by the ongoing conflict in DRC," she said.

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