Ituri contemplates putting in place Human Rights Commission
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) and its partners in Ituri organized a conference-debate on 10 December 2016 on a variety of themes relating to the improvement of Human Rights in Ituri.
UNJHRO/Ituri reported four hundred cases of human rights violations from January to October 2016 across the Ituri Province. The violations affected 10 201 persons (282 women, 40 girls, 864 men and 15 Boys) including 174 cases of infringement on property, 140 violation of physical integrity including 55 cases of rapes; 58 cases of infringement on the right to freedom and security and 28 cases of the violations of the right to life.
The perpetrators of those violations are identified as the FRPI militia members in the South of Irumu territory which prompted Etienne EGE UNEGA, the provincial Minister for human rights representing the provincial Governor to the celebration who declared “the human rights situation is generally satisfactory in Ituri except in the territories of Mambasa and Irumu where armed groups are still active.” UNJHRO also points a finger to some members of the police force for cases of arbitrary arrests and intimidations.
This office nevertheless applauded the mobile court hearing organized by relevant authorities to bring to court security personnel and public servants who commit human rights violations. Regarding the efforts to fight impunity, UNJHRO notes with satisfaction the conviction of 82 military personnel, some by the mobile court hearings and the arrests and convictions of FRPI and Mai Mai SIMBA militia members.
The provincial Minister for human rights reassures that the “provincial government remains resolved to put an end to those violations.” He reaffirmed the provincial government’s commitment to combat them and envisage putting in place shortly a human rights commission at the provincial level to coordinate all the activities on the ground.
It is worth noting that students and other members of the human rights organizations in Bunia also participated in the debates that addressed themes such as “Stand up for someone’s human rights today”.
Laurent Sam Oussou