Human Rights Council 52nd Session.
Item 10 - Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the oral updates of the High Commissioner on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the team of international experts on Kasai
Nordic-Baltic Statement delivered by Iceland
30 March 2023
I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
The recurrent and intensified armed violence in eastern DRC and related human rights violations and abuses, including attacks against civilians, are of serious concern. The deteriorating security situation, caused primarily by the armed group M23, as well as other armed groups such as the ADF, severely impacts the rights of the Congolese population and jeopardises the coming elections. We note that the state of siege in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri introduced in 2021, remains.
Accountability and the rule of law must be ensured. We note that the trial regarding the murders of UN experts Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp is now in appeal and in the final instance. It is of utmost importance that the appeals process takes all evidence into consideration. The ongoing investigation on these heinous crimes, conducted in close cooperation with the UN-mandated follow-up mechanism, remains crucial and enjoys our full support.
High Commissioner, we would appreciate if you could elaborate on the consequences that the violence may have on existing ethnic tensions?