The Global Campaign for Rwandans’ Human Rights Advocates for Legal Accountability in M23 Conflict

Today, the Global Campaign for Rwandans’ Human Rights issued a pressing call to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to initiate legal proceedings against the Rwandan Government and specific officials at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). This appeal centers on Rwanda’s documented backing of the M23 rebel group, implicated in a series of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The United Nations and the DRC government have provided evidence supporting these claims, highlighting the urgent need for accountability and justice.

The conflict, which has led to widespread civilian casualties, displacement, and suffering in the DRC, underscores the necessity of leveraging international legal mechanisms to address these severe violations. As a signatory of the Rome Statute, the DRC is positioned to use these platforms to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

In response to inquiries about the DRC’s emphasis on using military force to resolve issues related to the M23 rebellion, Mugenzi, the coordinator of the Global Campaign, stressed the importance of legal strategies in ensuring accountability. “Legal means are crucial in holding people accountable and leveraging existing international legal tools established to deal with these situations,” Mugenzi remarked. While he acknowledged the importance of military efforts to protect the populace and maintain territorial integrity, Mugenzi emphasized that justice for victims remains a critical concern. “The military approach is important to safeguard the integrity of people and protect them, but those people need justice, and it is the legal pathways that will achieve that,” he stated.

Mugenzi further highlighted that taking legal action is essential for addressing the culture of impunity that has long plagued the region. “It will also contribute to ending the culture of impunity that has been prevalent for a long time in that region,” he added.

The Global Campaign for Rwandans’ Human Rights, based in the UK, continues its advocacy for the rule of law, freedom in Rwanda, and the protection of human rights for Rwandans across the globe. By urging the DRC to take legal steps against Rwanda and its officials, the organization aims to tackle the root causes of the conflict, ensure accountability, and prevent the exploitation of young Rwandans and Congolese in armed conflicts.

This initiative marks a significant move towards fostering peace and justice in the region, reinforcing the importance of international legal mechanisms in resolving conflicts and addressing issues that have long impacted the Great Lakes region of Africa.