U.N. appalled by DRC violence

May 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, May 9 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was appalled by violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo that claimed the life of a Pakistani peacekeeper.

The United Nations said "unidentified assailants" attacked the peacekeeping mission in DRC, killing a Pakistani member of the force.

Ban, in a statement issued through his spokesman's office, said killing a peacekeeper "is a war crime that falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court."

A U.N. report released this week said crimes against humanity were likely committed last year in fighting between the DRC military and the March 23 Movement, which seized territory briefly in North Kivu province.

Both sides are suspected of using sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Executive Director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth issued a letter to DRC President Joseph Kabila expressing concern about the human rights situation in the country.

Roth said the regional and international communities have done their part in ensuring peace returns to DRC but some of the responsibility falls on the government's shoulders.

"We recognize that violence and abuses continue, but we are hopeful that the Congolese government, with international support, can make real progress along the path toward greater respect for human rights and justice in the coming months," he said.

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