Canada Expresses Deep Concern over Safety of Eastern Congolese Civilians

(No. 270 - August 26, 2010 - 5 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing Canada’s profound concern over recent reports of sexual violence against women and children in a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):

“Canada is deeply concerned by allegations that members of two armed rebel groups raped more than 150 women during a July 30 attack in the province of North Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. MONUSCO, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is investigating the incident.

“Canada reiterates its condemnation of the ongoing violence in the eastern DRC, including sexual and gender-based violence, and remains greatly concerned for the safety of the population there, especially women and children. We call on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of civilians.

“Canada once again urges the Government of the DRC to take concerted measures to prevent such criminal acts and to ensure that those who commit serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law are brought to justice.”

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