51st Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Item 10 Enhanched ID on report of HC and experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo
Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic Baltic Countries
4 October 2022
Thank you Mr President.
I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries - Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Iceland.
Thank you, Acting High Commissioner, [for your report] and to the Team of International Experts for their final report.
The increase in ethnic tensions, attacks against civilians and other human rights violations and abuses in eastern DRC is of serious concern. We note that the state of siege in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri introduced in 2021, remains. The volatile security situation and the challenges regarding good governance constitute major obstacles to legal proceedings. We also note the dependence on military courts and the limited judicial accessibility outside of urban areas.
Accountability and the rule of law must be ensured. We note the verdict regarding the murders of UN experts Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp. It is of utmost importance that the upcoming appeals process takes all evidence into consideration. The ongoing investigation to shed full light on these heinous crimes, which is conducted in close cooperation with the UN-mandated follow-up mechanism, remains important and enjoys our full support.
Acting High Commissioner, we would appreciate if you could elaborate on the consequences of the state of siege and the following extensive use of military courts rather than civilian courts?
I thank you.