A report on alleged human rights abuses by Congolese security forces has spurred a confrontation between the government there and the United Nations. The United States has expressed deep concern over the decision of the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to expel the U.N.’s top human rights official over his findings, and strongly urges officials to reverse the decision.
Scott Campbell, director of the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office, was asked to leave the country on October 17 following the release of a U.N. investigative report into actions by Congolese security forces during a police operation in Kinshasa late last year. According to the report, published on October 15, the Congolese National Police had committed summary and extrajudicial executions of nine persons, including one minor, and forced disappearances of 32 persons during what was called Operation Likofi between November 15, 2013 and February 15, 2014.
Congolese officials have denied the charges, saying Campbell deserved to be expelled because the report was “full of lies.”
The United Nations plays an important role in contributing to the security and well-being of the Congolese people, including through the U.N. peacekeeping mission there, MONUSCO; its humanitarian operations; and its support for good governance, democracy, and human rights. MONUSCO is specifically mandated by the U.N. Security Council to prepare regular reports on the status of human rights in the D.R.C.
The United States reaffirms its strong support for the work of the U.N. and its commitment to fight against impunity for violations of human rights. We urge the Congolese government to investigate the allegations of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances by some members of its security forces and to hold those responsible to account.