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HRC45: Nordic-Baltic countries address human rights situation in DRC

Mr/Mme Chairperson,

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and my own country, Sweden.

The human rights situation in DRC remains serious and of deep concern. Summary executions, arbitrary detentions and sexual violence and gender-based violence occur frequently. In the past year, we have seen an increase in the number of human rights violations by members of armed groups in the conflict-affected parts of the country. Tackling impunity is key to ending violence. 

Let me reiterate: the murders of UN experts Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp in 2017 must be fully and thoroughly investigated and those responsible brought to justice. We welcome the extension of the UN Follow-On Mechanism and note the arrest of one of the suspected perpetrators. Hopefully this will lead to progress in the judicial proceedings which we hope can be resumed within short.

We are deeply concerned about the death threats directed at Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate Dr Mukwege and join the High Commissioner in her call for a swift investigation into the matter. An effective and sustainable solution must be found together with national authorities to ensure that the vital work at the Panzi hospital can continue.

Thank you