President determined to punish crimes in DR.Congo

24th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila warned Sunday he was determined to ensure that crimes, especially those committed in the east of the country, would not go unpunished.

"The Congolese government is determined to ensure that a crime -- whether it is against journalists or against the population in Kinshasa, in the east, in the whole country, do not remain unpunished," he said at the end of a summit of French language nations.

The eastern DRC has been mired in factional and ethnic violence for more than 15 years, and international alarm has grown again in recent months at vicious attacks on civilians and rampant impunity.

About 15,000 people were raped there in 2009, according to the United Nations, amid fighting between rebels, the army and armed groups from neighbouring countries, with widespread reports of abuse or killings of civilians.

Kabila insisted that it was his "firm determination" to halt impunity.

The journalists' freedom group Reporters Sans Frontieres has condemned growing obstacles and repression against journalists in the country ahead of elections in 2011.

Asked about the fate of missing or arrested journalists, Kabila said he was not aware of any arrests of journalists.

"In recent years we have had several cases of journalists being murdered, not only in the east but also in the capital, Kinshasa," he told journalists.

Kabila said that in each case there was an investigation, a trial and arrests.

© 2010 AFP

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