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4 Aug 2017

Rights & Accountability in Development (RAID), Action Contre l'Inpunite pour les Droits de l'homme (ACIDH), Institute for Human Rights & Development in Africa (IHRDA)

NGOs coalition welcomes African Commission's landmark USD2.5 million award to DR Congo massacre victims

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has found the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo responsible for the 2004 massacre of over 70 people in Kilwa, in the southeast of the country, and granted landmark compensation of US $2.5 million to the victims and their families, three human rights groups who initiated the complaint said today.

An Australian-Canadian mining company, Anvil Mining, who operated a copper and silver mine at Dikulushi, 50 kilometres from Kilwa, was publicly rebuked for its role in the violations, which included providing logistical support to soldiers who indiscriminately shelled civilians, summarily executed at least 28 people and disappeared many others after a small group of lightly armed rebels tried to take control of the town. The Commission urged the Congolese government to launch a new criminal investigation and “take all due measures to prosecute and punish agents of the state and Anvil Mining Company staff.”

The complaint on behalf of 8 of the victims was brought to the African Commission in November 2010 by UK-based Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), Congo-based Action Against Impunity and Human Rights (ACIDH) and the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), based in Banjul, Gambia. The Commission communicated its decision to the parties in French last month [...] 

In a ground-breaking decision, the Commission found the Congolese government had violated nine human rights provisions of the African Charter, including extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary arrests, disappearances and forced displacement, amongst others. It awarded the 8 victims named in the complaint US $2.5 million, the highest ever award by the African Commission. It urged the Congolese government to identify and compensate other victims and their families not party to the complaint who were also directly affected by the attack...

Part of the following timelines

Dem. Rep. of Congo: African Commission issues landmark decision on 2004 Kilwa massacre - rebukes Anvil Mining for role in abuses by army

Anvil Mining lawsuit (re complicity in Dem. Rep. of Congo, filed with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights)