Law and order nowhere to be seen…

 With unprecedented riots and unrest spreading around England’s towns and cities like wildfire, it’s little wonder that newspapers have limited space for other stories.  Which is why I’m not too surprised that the publication of a comprehensive new Amnesty report about the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo has slipped below the media’s radar.   However the report by Amnesty The time for justice is now; new strategy needed in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ provides a comprehensive study on the lack of a robust justice system in this central African country.The DRC’s justice system is in total disarray. For decades, the justice system has failed to hold those responsible for crimes they’ve committed and so its weakness has created a culture of entrenched impunity. Amnesty has repeatedly reported over the years on the astoundingly high level of mass rape of women and girls, of unlawful killings, of torture and the use of child soldiers in the DRC. The several conflicts – particularly in the east – have destroyed communities and have allowed horrendous human rights violations to take place.  Only a handful of criminal suspects have ever been brought to justice.  In a couple of months’ time, the DRC is expected to hold presidential and legislative elections.  At the top of any potential ministerial candidate’s agenda has to be a call to tighten up the justice system. Perpetrators of crimes past and present have to be held to account, and victims of crimes against humanity have to receive reparations. Perhaps more so in recent days than ever before, we in the UK are aware of the importance of a robust justice system which brings perpetrators to account swiftly and fairly and maintains a clear respect for human rights.  Every country should have such a justice system.  Irrespective of whether it’s the UK or the DRC.

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