DRC: Protect Civilians NOW!

(c) Michael Graham/USHMM, July 2008

(c) Michael Graham/USHMM, July 2008

While African and UN leaders today discuss the recent spike in violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, civilians continue to suffer on the ground. The unraveling of the fragile ceasefire over the last hours further increased the urgency for the international community to step up its effort to help.

The UN peacekeeping force MONUC remains the last hope of hundreds of thousands of affected civilians, mainly women and children. However, the force is thinly stretched and cannot enforce its mandate of stopping attacks against civilians, protect humanitarian operations and enforce the UN arms embargo. The absolute priority for world leaders now must be to strengthen the peacekeepers’ capacity. And the absolute priority for us is to urge them to act.

This entry was posted in Africa, Refugee and Migrant Rights, Women's Rights and tagged , , , , , , , , by Christoph Koettl. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christoph Koettl

Christoph Koettl is the Emergency Response Manager at Amnesty International USA and works on urgent human rights situations such as armed conflicts. In his work he focuses on exploring the intersection of technology and human rights, specializing in utilizing satellite imagery or citizen video for human rights research and advocacy. He previously worked and studied in Austria, the Netherlands and Italy and holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His expertise is in International Humanitarian Law, conflict analysis, crisis mapping, video validation and social media forensics and he is a regular speaker on technology and human rights. He has testified on war crimes in Sri Lanka before the United States Congress and his work is covered regularly by numerous national and international media, including Associated Press, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and Reuters.
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