Introduction

The genocide of 1994 in Rwanda has had tragic repercussions in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In South Kivu and North Kivu, armed groups and national security forces are tearing each other apart to gain control of the territory and of the mining and agricultural resources. Over a period of 20 years, the war in DRC has caused millions of direct and indirect victims, making it the deadliest conflict since the end of World War II. In a country where the judicial system is still highly dysfunctional, widespread impunity hinders the consolidation of the peace process.

Since 2014, TRIAL International runs a program to fight impunity and provide Congolese victims with assistance. It focuses its fight mainly on South Kivu and North Kivu in the east of the country. Bordering on Rwanda and Burundi, these provinces are the ones most affected by the conflict. Incessant fighting has been going on there since 1994 between the armed rebel factions and the national security forces. Civilians have often come under attack and tens of thousands of victims have been left in its wake.

Since the NGO opened its offices in Bukavu, it has formed a network of dependable partners. Together, they take all the necessary security precautions to ensure that activities run smoothly.

Bringing justice to victims

In DRC, TRIAL represents the victims of international crimes within a context where justice is all too often lacking. Whether at national, regional or international level, the NGO uses every possible resource to defend victims’ rights and to ensure they obtain reparation. The organization remains by their side at each stage of the proceedings, offering them free, high-quality legal assistance.

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Training human rights defenders

Without a mobilized, well-trained civil society, the defense of victims would not be successful. That is why TRIAL International offers legal training for NGO representatives and lawyers engaged in the fight against impunity. Working on victims’ files or on the documentation of sexual violence, local actors acquire the necessary legal tools to defend their fellow countrymen at national, regional and international levels.

Fighting impunity

TRIAL International fights the impunity of individuals guilty of serious human rights violations on Congolese territory. It prepares these files in association with dependable local partners. Whether the instigators of massacres, sexual violence, torture or extrajudicial execution, the organization brings before national courts those who fuel terror in DRC.

2016 Country Facts
12
ongoing cases at international level
14
ongoing cases at domestic level
256
new victims helped
30
human rights defenders trained