Newsletter September 2014Eng .pdf
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Personal Representative’s Monthly Newsletter
A Monthly Newsletter from the Personal Representative
Fighting to end Sexual Violence and
the Recruitment of Children into
armed groups in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
President Kabila’s Personal Representative Jeanine Mabunda (second from left) at the United Nations with
Special Representative Zainab Bangura, Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Special Representative Leila Zerrougui
and DRC Ambassador Ignace Gata.
President Kabila appoints Personal Representative to fight sexual
violence and child recruitment into armed groups in DRC.
On July 8, 2014, President Joseph Kabila
fulfilled his commitment to the Congolese
people and the international community
by appointing Jeanine Mabunda as his
personal representative to eradicate
sexual violence and the recruitment of
children into armed groups in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Personal Representative Mabunda has
since begun interacting with different
stakeholders, including DRC ministries of
Justice, Gender, and Defense, Non-‐
Governmental Organizations (NGO) United
Nations agencies and donors.
One month after her nomination, Ms.
Mabunda conducted a listening visit to
Goma, the capital of Nord Kivu Province,
where she met with survivors of sexual
violence, civil society groups, civil and
military justice officials and others who
struggle with impunity on a daily basis.
In addition to hearing more about
numerous challenges, Ms. Mabunda
witnessed the dedication of a Forces
Armées de la République Démocratique du
Congo’s (FARDC) officer in the fight against
sexual violence. A FARDC major pleaded
with Ms. Mabunda to help local authorities
try 10 soldiers arrested for sexual violence
crimes in Rutshuru. Lack of a mobile court
prosecuting these soldiers.
In cooperation with the Congolese
population, relevant DRC ministries,
traditional and religious leaders, the
international community, NGO and others,
Ms. Mabunda will help drive survivor and
prevention focused policy solutions.
In October, Ms. Mabunda will reveal her
action plan to fight sexual violence and
child recruitment in the DRC. She will focus
on six areas: statement of facts, the fight
against impunity, reparations, prevention
through education, duty of memory and
communications and advocacy.
Personal Representative Jeanine Mabunda meets
sexual violence survivors in Goma, Sud Kivu Province.
her first official public task as
Representative, Jeanine Mabunda,
conducted a listening visit in Sud Kivu
Province in late August. Explaining her
mandate and hearing firsthand from
Congolese citizens and government
officials, the international community
and national and international NGO
how sexual violence and child
recruitment into armed groups has
shattered lives and communities in
eastern DRC, Ms. Mabunda vowed to
work closely with all stakeholders to rid
the county of these plagues. The
perspectives gained from the Sud Kivu
Province listening tour is also
contributing to the formulation of Ms.
Mabunda’s action plan.
Personal Representative’s Monthly Newsletter
Personal Representative Mabunda conducts visit to UN
At the invitation of Ms. Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-‐General on
Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, Ms. Jeanine Mabunda, President Kabila’s Personal
Representative to fight sexual violence and child recruitment in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo (DRC), conducted a three-‐day mission to the United Nations (UN) to discuss the
extraordinary challenges facing the DRC and garner support from UN member states and
During the September 3–5 visit, Ms. Mabunda had one-‐on-‐one meetings with ambassadors
and high-‐level officials from the five permanent Security Council (SC) members; China,
France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States; the current SC Working Group on
Children in Armed Conflict chair, Luxembourg; Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Belgium,
among others. She also met with Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the
Secretary-‐General on Children and Armed Conflict, Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Deputy
Secretary-‐General of the UN, and the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.
Ms. Mabunda discussed the areas of focus for her office, including prevention through
education, comprehensively addressing impunity, and reparations in the fight against sexual
violence and expanding the DRC government’s cooperation with the international
community. She also emphasized that Congolese citizens and communities impacted by
sexual violence and child recruitment need tangible peace dividends after the defeat of
illegal armed groups in the DRC.
While the DRC is leading the fight against sexual violence and child recruitment into armed
groups, Ms. Mabunda also stressed that a variety of assistance from the international
community is required to eradicate these plagues in Africa’s second largest country.
Comprehensive Strategy on
Combating Sexual Violence in DRC
On August 29, 2014, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Ministry of
Defense and the United Nations, through
the Office of the Special Representative of
the Secretary-‐General for Sexual Violence,
jointly adopted the Forces Armées de la
République Démocratique du Congo’s
(FARDC) Action Plan to fight sexual
The groundbreaking plan, the first of its
kind in the world, outlines comprehensive
measures FARDC will implement to combat
sexual violence in the DRC. Steps to
sensitize Congolese armed force’s officers
on the impact of sexual violence on victims,
communities and the country as a whole,
and establishing a monitoring and
evaluation process is central to the plan.
Obtaining zero cases of rape committed by
members of FARDC and the Police
Nationale Congolaise is the overall
objective of the plan, which was praised by
the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs, William Hague.
Officials from the DRC ministries of
Defense, Gender, and Justice participated in
a two-‐day workshop on the plan held in
Kinshasa, the DRC capital.
Follow us on Twitter:
@StopDRCSV and @StopDRCCR
UN Security Council debate on children in armed conflict
On September 8, the United Nations (UN) Security Council conducted an all-‐day debate on
children in armed conflict. Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-‐
General for Children and Armed Conflict, noted gains and existing challenges to ending the
killing, recruiting and other abuses of children during armed conflict across the globe.
The latest Secretary-‐General’s report on children in armed conflict, S/2014/339, detailed
progress made in the DRC, which remains listed as a country where children are recruited
into armed groups.
Speaking during the debate, the DRC Ambassador to the UN, the Honorable Ignace Gata,
stated that while illegal armed groups still recruit Congolese children, measures the
government has put in place have eliminated the practice within FARDC, including.
• Using biometric data, which has also removed tens of thousands of “ghost” soldiers
from FARDC’s payroll.
• Granting access to military sites for verification purposes by child protection actors,
including the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC and UNICEF.
• Signing and implementing the United Nation’s Children Not Soldiers campaign.
• On-‐going implementation of a joint DRC-‐UN 2012 Action Plan that criminalizes the use
of children in armed forces and combats sexual violence.
Ambassador Gata also cited President Kabila’s appointment of Jeanine Mabunda as his
personal representative to spearhead efforts to strengthen measures the DRC government
currently has in place and introduce additional measures to ensure that FARDC remains free
of child soldiers.