DRC 'failed' to probe murder of aid workers

2012-10-05 18:15


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Kinshasa - Human Rights Watch on Friday condemned the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo for failing to investigate the case of seven humanitarian workers murdered a year ago in an ethnically-motivated killing.

The victims were killed for being ethnic Banyamulenge after their car was ambushed, in an attack attributed to the local Mai Mai Yakutumba militia, allied to Burundian rebels from the National Forces of Liberation (FNL).

Authorities announced the opening of an inquiry but the watchdog said the Congolese government had failed to act to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The seven who worked for non-governmental organisation Eben Ezer Ministry International were killed on 4 October 2011, at Kalungwe village in the South Kivu province.

HRW said the Mai Mai separated passengers based on their ethnicity and executed the seven who were Banyamulenge.

“One year has passed since Mai Mai executed seven humanitarian workers on ethnic grounds, and the victims’ families still await justice,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“The Congolese government has done almost nothing to arrest those responsible while the killing of civilians in South Kivu continues.”

"The Mai Mai ruthlessly singled out and killed their victims because of their ethnicity," Bekele said.

"The Congolese government should recognise that its failure to address the abuses long rampant in this region allows ethnic tensions to smoulder."

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