Victims of Goma Crackdown in Eastern DRC Finally Laid to Rest After Weeks

The photograph depicts coffins containing the remains of individuals who lost their lives in late August during a military operation in Goma, situated in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These victims were subsequently laid to rest in a cemetery located outside the city on September 18, 2023.

After three weeks since the violent crackdown in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in which at least 57 civilians were killed, the victims’ families were finally able to bury their loved ones. The crackdown occurred on August 30 when DRC soldiers clashed with protesters demonstrating against the presence of UN peacekeepers in the country.

The bodies of the victims had been decomposing in a Goma military hospital for 20 days, posing health risks. The families were initially banned from visiting the hospital until September 12. The DRC government provided coffins, paid for the funeral expenses, and offered financial support to console the families.

The United Nations had earlier called for an independent investigation into the killings and urged the implementation of measures to ensure that future demonstrations are policed in line with international human rights standards. Currently, six Republican Guard soldiers, including two senior officers, are standing trial in Goma for crimes against humanity and non-compliance with orders related to the crackdown.

The violent suppression of the demonstration, organized by a religious sect, resulted in the deaths of at least 43 people and left 75 others wounded, including a police officer, according to the UN rights office.

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