D. R. Congo
Thirteen parties are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2022 annual report (S/2022/493) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for various grave violations against children, including the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) for rape and other forms of sexual violence. In March, the SG is expected to report on MONUSCO’s mandate, pursuant to SCR 2666 (2022). According to the SG’s November report on MONUSCO (S/2022/892), between September 17 and October 31, 2022, the UN verified 172 grave violations. Mai-Mai Biloze Bishambuke was responsible for the largest number of verified violations (38), and Government Security Forces were allegedly responsible for the killing of one boy, sexual violence against three girls and one attack on a school. On January 22, 13 children were reportedly abducted during an attack by a non-State armed group (NSAG) near the city of Butembo in North Kivu. Recent research by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International describe evidence of summary killings and sexual violence against civilians, including children, carried out by the M23 armed group in North Kivu. In December, the Security Council Working Group on CAAC (SCWG-CAAC) adopted its latest conclusions on DRC. The Security Council should:
- Urge all armed groups to immediately cease recruiting and using children, release those within their ranks, uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL), and if they have not yet done so, engage with the UN to develop, sign, and implement action plans to end and prevent grave violations;
- Encourage the Government to continue its cooperation with the UN on screening and age verification to prevent the recruitment of children, call for age verification to be implemented at the territorial level, and encourage continued efforts to hold perpetrators of grave violations accountable;
- Reiterate that children associated with armed forces and groups (CAAFAG) should be treated primarily as victims and call on the Government to ensure CAAFAG are consistently handed over to civilian child protection actors in compliance with its 2013 directives and the Paris Principles, which it has endorsed;
- Call on all parties to take immediate and specific steps to end and prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, including by ensuring perpetrators of grave violations are held accountable and that survivors have access to comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response and protection, and call on the Government to accelerate efforts to implement aspects of its 2012 action plan relating to sexual violence and the Joint Communique signed with the UN to fight sexual violence in conflict;
- Demand that all parties allow and facilitate the safe, unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected populations, especially children; and respect and protect humanitarian personnel, assets, and infrastructure;
- Call for the swift and full implementation of the recommendations of the SCWG-CAAC elaborated in its eighth conclusions on DRC.
France is the lead country on DRC.
This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – March 2023.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Watchlist has provided support via its Partnerships Program in order to strengthen local efforts to monitor, report on, and respond to grave violations against children. This support has included timely outreach and trainings for local civil society actors in Eastern DRC. Watchlist currently provides technical support, including mentoring, to one local organization in the DRC. Working through community-based protection committees, Watchlist’s partner monitors and documents child rights violations. They also engage with local authorities to improve access to referral services and to prevent violations.
Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: FARDC (the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) – recruitment and use of children and sexual violence against children (October 2012) *Delisted in 2017 following compliance with Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children. Action Plan on ending and preventing sexual violence against children under implementation.
Sanctions Committee: Sanctions Committee concerning Democratic Republic of Congo (Current Chair: Niger)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in DRC: 2022; 2020; 2018; 2014; 2010; 2008; 2007; 2006
Security Council Working Group conclusions on DRC: 2020; 2018; 2014; 2011; 2009; 2007; 2006
UN Mission: MONUSCO
Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict
|Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo||a|
|Forces armees congolaises (FAC)||a|
|Forces armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo (FARDC)~*||a||a,b,c,e||a,b,c,e||a,c,d,f||a,c||a,c||a,c||a,c||a,c||a,c||a,c||c|
|Mouvement national de liberation du Congo (MLC)||a||a|
|Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)-Goma||a||a|
|Local defence forces associated with RCD-Goma||a|
|Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)-National||a||a|
|Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)-Kisangani/ML||a||a|
|Union des patriotes congolais (UPC) (Hema militia)||a||a|
|Union des patriotes congolais (UPC)-Thomas Lubanga and Florimert Kisembo factions||a|
|Parti pour l’unite et la sauvenarge du Congo (PUSIC) (Hema Militias)||a||a|
|Front nationaliste et integrationaliste (FNI) (Lendu)||a||a,b||a||a,e||a||a,c||a,c|
|Front populaire pour la reconciliation de l’Ituri (FPRI) (Ngiti)||a|
|Mai-Mai in the Kivus, Maniema and Katanga||a,b|
|Mai-Mai groups in North and South Kivu, Maniema and Katanga who have not integrated into FARDC||a||a,e|
|Union des patriotes congolais pour la paix (also known as Mai-Mai Lafontaine)*||a,d,f||a,c||a,c||a,c||a||a||a||a||a|
|Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain*||a||a||a||a||a|
|Mai Mai “Tawimbi”||a|
|Forces armes populaires congolaises (FAPC)||a||a,b|
|Laurent Nkunda and Jules Mutebutsi, dissident elements of FARDC||a,c|
|Non-integrated FARDC elements loyal to rebel leader Laurent Nkunda||a,e||a,b,c,e|
|Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR)*||a,b,c||a,e||a,b,c,e||a||a,c||a,c||a,c,d||a,c,d||a,c,d||a,c,d||a,c,d||a,c,d,e|
|Force de résistance patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI)*/Front Populaire pour la Justice au Congo (FPJC)||a,e||a,c||a,c||a,c||a,c||a,c,d||a,c,d||a,c,d||a,c,d,e|
|Mouvement revolutionnaire congolais (MRC)||a,e|
|Congres national pour la defense du peuple (CNDP), formerly led by Laurent Nkunda and now Bosco Ntaganda||a,b,d||a,c||a,c||a,c|
|Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)*||a,b,c,e||a,c||a,c||a,c||a,b,c||a,b,c||a,b,c||a,b,c,e||a,b,c,e|
|Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23)||a,c||a,c|
|Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)||a,d||a,b,d||a,b,d||a,b,d,e|
|Mai-Mai Kata Katanga||a||a||a||a|
|Nduma défense du Congo-Rénové/Mai-Mai Cheka||a,b||a,b||a,b||a,b|
a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children
d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children
~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.