The appalling situations of Human Rights in DRC

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Date(s) - Wednesday - Mar 13, 2024
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Public event organized by the IPB African Network

The appalling situations of Human Rights in DRC

Wednesday, March 13th 2024 @ 11am EDT | 4pm WAT, CET (GMT +1)
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Brief context

Briefing the Security Council in New York on February 20, 2024, the UN Special Representative Bintou Keita urged ambassadors to do all they can to prevent the fighting in North Kivu province from spreading beyond the border.

The situation in the eastern DRC is among the most complex, prolonged and protracted crises in the world, lasting some three decades. The latest violence is occurring against a backdrop of the eventual drawdown of the UN mission (MONUSCO) this year, and at a time when historic flooding is affecting some two million people.

Hostilities have escalated dramatically since the expiration of a ceasefire in December, leading to a “deeply worrisome situation” around the town of Sake and the provincial capital, Goma.

More than 400,000 displaced persons have now sought refuge in the city, including 65,000 in the past two weeks, triggering a dramatic increase in cases of cholera due to a lack of safe drinking water, adequate hygiene, and sanitation.”

Ms. Keita expressed deep concern over serious violations committed in areas under M23 control, where human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society representatives are being targeted. At least 150 people have been killed since November, 77 in January alone. The UN envoy also voiced concern over the security situation in other areas of North Kivu, Ituri and South Kivu provinces.

Fighting has intensified in several areas in recent weeks, and the M23 has expanded further south, sparking more displacement towards Goma and neighbouring South Kivu province.

She said there has been a significant escalation of violence in Djugu territory in Ituri, where MONUSCO continues to ensure the protection of more than 100,000 people displaced last week due to deadly fighting between the Zaïre and CODECO factions.

The ADF continues to kill and kidnap civilians in both Ituri and North Kivu. The group has also started to attack military targets after nearly a year of avoiding direct clashes with the security forces, and at time when a joint operation by the Ugandan and Congolese armies has been suspended.

Clashes have also broken out between Twirwaneho militia and Mai-Mai groups in South Kivu, where MONUSCO is preparing to withdraw within the coming months.


  1. Mrs Raissa Kasongo
    • Mrs Raissa Kasongo is a journalist with more than 13 years of experience. She works with a local community radio called “Radio Maendeleo”. She is and expert in conflict and gender-sensitive journalism. She is also the Project officer in a local organization giving support and assistance to to abandoned children and orphans. The organization is called Assistance aux enfants abandonnés et Orphelins (AEO) where she leads a project focused on improving the health of refugees, internally displaced persons and host populations in two health zones in the province of South Kivu. She is from Bukavu, Sud-Kivu, DRC.
  2. Mr Norman Ishimwe Sinamenye
    • Norman Ishimwe Sinamenye is a human rights activist and president of Jambo asbl, a Brussels-based organization that has been promoting human rights in Rwanda through civil society since 2008. He is also at the promoter of the “All For Rwanda” movement that focused on the support, the protection and the establishment of appropriate conditions for the safe return of Rwandan refugees. Norman left Rwanda in 1994, during the genocide, fleeing persecution and the imminent risk of violence against his family.
      Along the way, he sought refuge in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Belgium, where he currently resides. As a political and geopolitical analyst specializing in the Great Lakes region, Norman has contributed to various mainstream media and lectured on these complex issues. His experiences as a refugee and his commitment to the defense of human rights have forged his perspective and dedication to encouraging positive change in Rwanda and the wider region.
  3. Mr Freddy Bisetsa
    • Freddy BISETSA is the founder and executive director of Women Concern and specializes in socio-economic empowerment, women’s rights and the fight against small arms and light weapons (SALW). He has worked intensively on the fight against SALW in the DRC and led various government awareness and advocacy campaigns, including those on the ratification of the Kinshasa Convention on SALW and the International Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (TIAN). The latter having been ratified on September 22, 2022. Its expertise has been at the service of field organizations in the Great Lakes region through consulting and mentoring missions. Freddy holds a Master’s degree in Gender and Development.
  4. Mrs Yvette Mushigo
    • Yvette Mushigo is the executive secretary of the organization SPR, which is a Synergy of Women for Peace and Reconciliation of the Peoples of the Great Lakes of Africa. Through her expertise in gender, peace and security, and active non-violence within her organization, she focuses on the contribution of women and youth to participatory governance, peacebuilding, and the promotion of a more egalitarian society while respecting rights. Through various actions, her organization strengthens women’s leadership and fights against the manipulation of youth. For Yvette, it is important for women to raise their voices and for youth to become agents of change through their talents, especially those that are artistically mobilizing other youth for more inclusive development, without which the contribution of each citizen must be taken into consideration in order to limit conflicts. Her approaches are focused on individual transformation first before being a reference for others. This earned her the Mundo Negro Fraternity Prize 2022, awarded in Madrid.

Moderation: Mrs Cyrille Rolande Bechon

Cyrille Rolande Bechon has been elected as IPB council member in October 2022. She holds a master degree in Human Rights and the Rule of Law and is a PhD student in the field of law. She has been working at NDH-Cameroon since 2003, and thus has a total of about 15 years of experience in the field of human rights. Furthermore, Cyrille is a specialist in transitional justice and conflict transformation, a consultant, trainer and activist in human rights issues.

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