Isis-WICCE condemns the recent violent attacks and killing of dozens in Beni, North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and extends condolences to the victims’ families and community members.
The consequences of violence of this nature are especially devastating to women and children of Eastern DRC, forcibly displaced and further exposed to sexual violence among other serious human rights violations in the process.
This attack, attributed to the ADF rebels, responsible for hundreds of killings in the area since October 2014, is a negative step in progress towards a necessary foundation of peace and stability in the DRC and the Great Lakes region.
Isis-WICCE encourages the government of the DRC to strengthen efforts to prevent attacks by armed groups and to consolidate cooperation with partners, countries in the region, the international community including the ICGLR and SADC, to end persistent violence by armed forces.
“We call on authorities to address the scourge of armed groups, ensure the protection of women and girls and respect the spirit of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for DRC and the region” said Isis-WICCE’s Interim Executive Director Helen Kezie-Nwoha. She also stressed the need for more gender-sensitive reporting by media covering the conflict, in order to draw due attention to the distinct effect of these attacks on women and girls.
In 2013, presidents of the DRC and the Great Lakes Region signed the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework committing to work together to put an end to persistent violence including the destabilizing attacks of armed forces in the region.