News / Africa

    DRC Threatens Legal Action over Deportations from Congo-Brazzaville

    Refugee children from the Democratic Republic of Congo attend class in a forest near the town of Gangania, more than 850 km north of Brazzaville, the capital of neighboring Congo, 25 Feb 2010Refugee children from the Democratic Republic of Congo attend class in a forest near the town of Gangania, more than 850 km north of Brazzaville, the capital of neighboring Congo, 25 Feb 2010
    x
    Refugee children from the Democratic Republic of Congo attend class in a forest near the town of Gangania, more than 850 km north of Brazzaville, the capital of neighboring Congo, 25 Feb 2010
    Refugee children from the Democratic Republic of Congo attend class in a forest near the town of Gangania, more than 850 km north of Brazzaville, the capital of neighboring Congo, 25 Feb 2010
    James Butty
    An official of the Democratic Republic of Congo said his government will take legal action against the government of Congo-Brazzaville to protest the treatment of DRC nationals.

    Information Minister Lambert Mende said the legal action will take place both in the International Criminal Court and Congolese courts. 

    According to the United Nations, more than 130,000 DRC nationals have been expelled since April.  Congo-Brazzaville said they are illegal foreign workers. 

    Two UN officials, Martin Kobler, head of the UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) and Sexual Violence in Conflict envoy Zainab Bangura Monday said they had received reports of physical abuse and sexual violence against the DRC nationals.

    Mende also said the deportations violate a 1999 bilateral agreement.

    “This was a violation of our 1999 agreement with Congo-Brazzaville that no country should deport citizens of another country without informing the country of origin of those to be deported,” he said.

    Mende said the DRC government welcomes the comments of Kobler and Bangura on the treatment of DRC nationals, but he said it may have come too late.  Still, he hopes it will lead to an international condemnation of the government in Brazzaville.

    He said it was Kinshasa that first informed the United Nations about the ill treatment of its nationals by Congo-Brazzaville.

    “We are also preparing the complaints from our compatriots, those victims. We are compiling the damage they have suffered so as to go to the international justice, so that whatever has been done to them is repaired because those are human beings.  They are not animals,” Mende said.

    Mende said, while Congo-Brazzaville has the right as a sovereign nation to decide who enters or is refused entry, it must do so in compliance with international law.

    “Of course, we don’t deny that right.  But, they must also respect other provisions of international law and our regional agreements.  It is stated clearly that, although you have the right to expel a foreigner, you must respect his human rights, you must respect his dignity, and you must respect his property,” Mende said.

    Mende said the dignity of DRC nationals was not respected and their property was looted and others killed.

    Bangura said in a statement Monday that her office had received reports “alleging that sexual violence is being committed before and during the expulsion exercise.”

    “We are scandalized by this behavior of some police officers in Congo-Brazzaville.  We sent this evidence to the Congo-Brazzaville government, as well as to the United Nations, and we really intend that this be pursued in the international court,” Mende said.

    Mende said Congo-Brazzaville had informed the government in Kinshasa that it was going to expel about 2,000 criminal elements identified as DRC nationals.

    But, Mende said, instead of 2,000, Congo-Brazzaville has expelled more than 130,000.
    Butty interview with Mende
    Butty interview with Mendei
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugeesi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    May 06, 2016 9:24 PM
    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugees

    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Strangers Share Secrets Through Postcards

    Frank Warren owns a million secrets. Strangers from around the world send him postcards with their confessions, their disappointments, and their hopes for the future, all anonymously. He displays his favorites online and in exhibits, and shares them with audiences in sold-out appearances around the globe. As VOA's Julie Taboh reports, what started as a simple social experiment has evolved into a multi-faceted and hugely successful global phenomenon.
    Video

    Video Largest Ground-based Telescope Under Construction

    While NASA's engineers are nearing the final phase of assembling the new James Webb space telescope, scheduled to be deployed in 2018, an international consortium led by the U.S. is laying foundations and building parts for a ground-based telescope, much larger than any other. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora