In reaction to today's UN Security Council statement on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Oxfam urged the Congolese military, MONUSCO and the UN Force Intervention Brigade to ensure that any future military operations against armed groups prioritize the safety and security of civilians.
"Learning from past experiences, MONUSCO and the Congolese government must take every possible precaution to prevent further harm to already distressed civilian populations, particularly women and children. The people of Eastern DRC have gone through decades of war and a level of violence that is hard for anyone to imagine. We owe it to all of them to make sure that any military offensive is carefully planned to minimize impact on communities," said Oxfam's Humanitarian Coordinator in Goma, Tariq Riebl.
Oxfam has been working for many years with communities in eastern DRC, who have told us that in previous years, military operations against armed groups led to human rights violations and threatened their safety, both as a direct consequence of operations and also due to reprisal attacks carried out by all sides.