Democratic Republic of Congo: Human rights group urge special session of Human Rights Council

As the civilian death toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to rise, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and more than 40 other organisations active in Africa warned today that the situation in the eastern DRC is at risk of turning into a humanitarian catastrophe, and called on the UN Human Rights Council to convene a special session on the crisis without delay.

In a letter sent today to Ambassador Martin Uhomoibi, President of the UN Human Rights Council, the organisations called on the Human Rights Council to use this special session to foster effective measures to protect the thousands of civilians suffering and at risk in the region.

Specifically, the organisations asked the Council to appoint a Special Envoy for the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to report on the human rights situation and recommend the concrete steps needed to respond to it.

In the letter, the organisations said to Ambassador Uhomoibi:

“The hostilities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have already taken a devastating toll on civilians. Everything possible should be done to prevent a further deterioration of an already dire situation. The Human Rights Council must not to turn its back on the victims of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

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