Responding to the news that Pope Francis will begin a 6-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan today, Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said:
“During his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis should publicly call on the countries’ leaders to take concrete steps to end impunity for crimes under international law. Improving the human rights situation in each country will not be possible without criminal accountability for atrocities committed amid the armed conflicts.
“While the DRC authorities initiated a “transitional justice” process, their efforts to actually achieve accountability and justice have proved half-hearted and hesitant. Meanwhile, South Sudanese authorities have failed to prosecute perpetrators of crimes under international law, or to establish the AU-backed Hybrid Court for South Sudan, despite provisions in two peace deals. Instead, they appear to prioritize truth over trials.”
“It is essential that the authorities in each country take urgent steps to address rampant impunity for the atrocities committed during armed conflicts, which have ravaged the countries in recent decades.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.