Canada Deeply Concerned by Grave Human Rights Violations in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

September 14, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada condemns the actions of the armed group known as M23, which is committing horrific abuses against civilians including forced recruitment, summary executions and rape. Violence against women in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo remains a serious problem. We are extremely concerned by continuing allegations of Rwandan support of M23 and urge the immediate cessation of any form of assistance.

“The violence and abuses perpetrated by M23 have precipitated a sharp deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the region and have led to the displacement of over a quarter million people. All those responsible for the violence and human rights abuses must be held accountable.

“We encourage the continuation of regional discussions and call for urgent efforts to implement concrete solutions to the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Canada will continue to press regional actors, including during the upcoming Summit of La Francophonie in Kinshasa, to protect civilians, including women and children, and to pave the way for peace and stability in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region.”

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