Democratic Republic of Congo

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th March 2015.

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Photo of Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the new Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

Efforts to stabilise the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) require a comprehensive disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme aimed at successfully returning those combatants not suspected of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or abuses of human rights, into a peaceful civilian life. It is crucial that the DDR programme is responsive to the needs of the Congolese people while guaranteeing the rights and welfare of those ex-combatants admitted to the programme. The Government of the DRC presented its DDR plan to international partners in June 2014. In October it announced that it would begin implementation using Government of the DRC and UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) funds. However, we have not yet seen any meaningful action on the ground and have noted with concern that a number of people transported to a military camp to await DDR have died from apparent disease and malnutrition. Alongside the UN and other members of the international community, we have requested the Government of the DRC take immediate action to protect the rights of those awaiting DDR in military camps. Whilst we are committed to working with the Government of the DRC on helping former combatants reintegrate into civilian life, we have made clear that our financial support is dependent on there being strong monitoring arrangements in place and that the needs and rights of all stakeholders are respected.

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