D. R. Congo

Advocacy

Fifteen parties are listed for grave violations in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2020 annual report on children and armed conflict (CAAC), including the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) for rape and other forms of sexual violence. In December, MONUSCO’s mandate is up for renewal, pursuant to SCR 2502 (2019). The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWG-CAAC) is currently negotiating its conclusions on children and armed conflict in the DRC. See below for targeted recommendations to the Working Group. The Security Council should:

  • Renew MONUSCO’s child protection mandate, preserving the Child Protection Unit’s existing capacity, and ensuring the senior Child Protection Adviser (CPA) continues to have direct access to senior mission leadership and political and operational space to engage with all parties to conflict, including non-State armed groups; maintain distinct budget lines for child protection;
  • Call on all parties to facilitate the safe, timely, and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children and other civilians in need, including by lifting any impediments that could delay, reduce, or prevent the delivery of assistance, without discrimination;
  • Ensure that the critical role of the Child Protection Unit is maintained during MONUSCO’s drawdown, and encourage the use of indicators on child protection, developed with meaningful participation of civil society stakeholders, to inform decision making on future child protection capacity in the Mission.

France is the lead country on the DRC. Niger chairs the 1533 Sanctions Committee.

In November, the Working Group received the SG’s seventh report (S/2020/1030) on children and armed conflict in the DRC, covering the period from January 2018 to March 2020. During this period, the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) verified 9,957 grave violations, affecting 8,444 children (6,439 boys, 2,005 girls), including 4,639 children who were recruited before 2018 but separated in the reporting period. New cases of recruitment decreased, continuing a trend noted in the SG’s previous report on the DRC (S/2018/502). Killings and maimings, abductions, and attacks on schools and hospitals also decreased, but sexual violence remained high (763 verified cases). Armed groups were found responsible for 95 percent of all verified violations. However, violations by Government security forces, in particular sexual violence (332) and killing and maiming (90), remain a concern. The Working Group should:

  • Urge all listed parties to immediately cease recruiting and using children, release those within their ranks, 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;
  • Call on the Government to adhere to directives issued in 2013 by the Minister of Defense and the Agence Nationale de Renseignement (ANR) to immediately hand over children formerly associated with armed groups to civilian child protection actors;
  • Strongly condemn persistently high numbers of rape and sexual violence, urge 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 are held accountable and that survivors have access to comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response and protection; call on the Government to accelerate efforts to implement its action plan on sexual violence;
  • Urge all parties to immediately end attacks against schools, hospitals, and protected personnel, and to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL); call on the Government to swiftly and fully implement its commitments under the Safe Schools Declaration and to ensure that attacks on schools are investigated and that those responsible are duly prosecuted.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – December 2020.

Partnerships

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.

Publications

UN Action

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: 2018; 20142010; 2008; 2007; 2006
Security Council Working Group conclusions on DRC: 2020; 201820142011200920072006
UN Mission: MONUSCO

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
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
Masunzu’s forces a a
Lendu militias 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
Ex-FAR/Interahamwe a a
Mai-Mai a 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 Simba* c a,c a,c a,c a,c
Mai Mai “Tawimbi” a
Forces armes populaires congolaises (FAPC) a a,b
Mudundu-40 a a
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
Nyatura a a a a
Raia Mutomboki a,c a,c
Mai-Mai Mazembe 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.

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