Security Council sanctions DRC Colonel for grave violations against children

New York, 2 December 2010 – The United Nations Security Council imposed targeted measures including travel bans and asset freezes on Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) Colonel Innocent Zimurinda for four of the six grave violations against children including recruitment and use of child soldiers, killing and maiming of children, sexual violations and denial of humanitarian access.

Under his command Zimurinda has overseen multiple massacres of women and children and a mass rape of women and girls. Other offenses include arbitrary executions of child soldiers, failure to release child soldiers and denial of humanitarian access, namely the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), for a screening of his troops to remove children from his ranks.

“We have long been fighting to end impunity. The sanctions imposed today by the Security Council against an unrepentant violator of children is a welcome step forward,” said the Special Representative for the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy.

The Office of the Special Representative has been working with the Security Council to add grave violations against children in conflict to their list of criteria to impose sanctions against individuals who commit these unspeakable violations.

“Every year we list armed groups who steal children from their homes, brainwash them and turn them into soldiers, those who deny humanitarian access to children, who attack schools and kill teachers, who sexually violate girls and boys and kill and maim children. Those listed by the Secretary-General now have a choice. Work with us to get off the list or face sanctions.”

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict calls on the FARDC to enter into an action plan with the United Nations for the release of child soldiers and for the FARDC to remove the many violators of children from command.

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Related information:

OSRSG-CAAC Press Release: Security Council expresses readiness to hold accountable those who recruit children for war:

Joint Press Release:

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For further information, please contact:

Timothy La Rose,

Communications Officer,

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict

+1 917-346-3404

Muriel Gschwend,

Communications Officer

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

+917 367 35 62