The United Nations has blacklisted seven officers in the Democratic Republic of Congo who pose a “real risk” of committing grave rights violations, a report has said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reported to the Security Council yesterday that the UN mission to the country had screened 124 military and police commanders and found seven officers, who did not measure up to UN human rights policy.
The officers and the units they command will be cut off from receiving support from the 20,000-strong MONUSCO force, such as transport, fuel, rations and training, according to the official report obtained by AFP.
MONUSCO will not be carrying out joint operations with those units, it said.
The seven were “deemed ineligible for support… Based on their background and due to the existence of substantial grounds for believing that there was a real risk of the intended recipient committing grave human rights violations,” said the report.
No more details about the seven officers including whether they were with the armed forces or national police was immediately available.
The move to blacklist them could exacerbate tensions between the UN mission and President Joseph Kabila, who has called for a major drawdown of the UN force.
Ban proposed in January cutting 2,000 troops from MONUSCO, the UN’s biggest peace mission that was set up 15 years ago.
MONUSCO has already suspended cooperation with the Congolese military in its campaign against Hutu rebels in the east over the appointment of two generals to lead the offensive, who are accused of rights violations.
The United Nations has demanded that the two be sacked, but Kinshasa has refused.
Over recent years human rights groups and UN investigators have documented several cases of attacks on civilians by Congolese troops, including widespread rape, notably in the eastern DR Congo.
UN officials are pushing for the disarming of dozens of rebel and splinter groups after two decades of conflict in the eastern DR Congo, much of it fueled by the lucrative trade in minerals.