Congo, Republic of
It didn't take long for Congo's transition from Belgian colony to sovereign state to turn ugly. Both the Soviet Union and the United States were keeping a close eye on the mineral-rich country at the heart of Africa when, on June 30, 1960, it gained independence under a democratically elected government headed by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.
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Although the war in Congo officially ended in 2003, two million people have died since. One of the reasons is that the international community's peacekeeping efforts there have not focused on the local grievances in eastern Congo, especially those over land, that are fueling much of the broader tensions. Until they do, the nation's security and that of the wider Great Lakes region will remain uncertain.
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In this report Amnesty International examines continued political detentions in the Republic of Congo. It details the detention and alleged torture of individuals arrested on suspicion of seeking to overthrown the government, asylum seekers, and a group of men accused of arms trafficking. Amnesty argues that at a time when Congolese President Denis Sassou N’Guesso holds the Presidency of the African Union (AU), the treatment of political detainees in the Republic of Congo violates numerous provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
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This report draws attention to the widespread and systematic use of children as fighters, porters, domestic servants or sexual possessions by government forces and armed groups.
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See more in Foreign Aid; Humanitarian Intervention; Congo, Republic of