Breaking the intentional silence – the UN draft mapping report

September 20, 2010

I reccomend that anyone following the debate around the leaked UN draft report detailing international crimes committed in the DRC take the time to read an insightful article by Juan Carrero of the International Forum for the Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region. He looks at how major powers in the west have intentionally ignored the crisis in the DRC, but is hopeful that the leaked report will break this silence. He has in the past noted that once “this monumental tragedy gets the coverage it deserves in the big media, it will become one of the most embarrassing chapters in the annals of the United Nations, of the entire Western world, in general”. Is that time now?

I have to agree with Carrero that “[i]t’s so true that the U.N. report doesn’t make any major revelations”. A number of reports and investigations have reached similar conclusions. Clearly what has been lacking is not the facts, but the political will take matters further. Other documents that have highlighted the horrors committed in the DRC include:

The Gersony Report (1994);

Garreton Report (1998): Report on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, submitted by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Roberto Garretón, in accordance with Commission resolution 1998/61;

Report of the Security General Investigative Team charged with investigating serious violations of human rights law in the DRC (1998).

Carrero believes that,

“the news is not the fact that the RPF perpetrated a genocide on such a large scale. The real news is something else: namely, that in a move that breaks the code of silence that has reigned within the U.N. for too many years, the High Commissioner for Human Rights reveals that the U.N. Security Council and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan before him – the same parties who less than a year ago accused some of us of financing the genocidaires – have actually spent more than a decade covering up the continuous genocide carried out by the RPF from Oct. 1, 1990, until today, which probably constitutes the largest one since the U.N. was founded!

Let’s hope that the time has come; let us hope that those who pull the strings realize that sustaining this sham, this disgraceful impunity, is untenable at this point. We firmly believe that those of us outside the U.N. should help enable those upright individuals within the organization to keep it from serving the interests of the Trilateral Commission and of other powerful and elitist groups instead of serving the interests of peoples.”

I couldn’t agree more.

With regard to the way forward, Carerr0 believes that the “major erroneous conclusion stated by most of the press articles that have appeared since the report was leaked: the need, they say, to establish a tribunal with jurisdictional authority over these crimes. Not only does such a court already exist but, on Feb. 6, 2008, it already issued arrest warrants against 40 RPF top officials who are allegedly responsible for the crimes in Congo referred to in the new U.N. report. This court is Spain’s Audiencia Nacional (National Court) which, pursuant to the principle of universal justice, possesses full jurisdiction to prosecute this kind of crime.”

There are always two sides to every story and Carrero certainly provides some food for thought.

Read the full article.


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