With rising tensions in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ahead of planned elections, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, expressed grave concerns:
"European citizens must be informed: in the DRC we run the risk of facing a new genocide. Especially in the eastern Kivu region, brutal militias massacre unarmed people every day in order to expel the population and take full control of the exploitation of natural and mineral resources. All this meets with indifference from the international community and inaction from the African Union.
"Europe cannot remain silent faced with a possible repeat of the tragedy in Rwanda.
"We need a comprehensive strategy that envisages not only military action but also political action. It is evident that the UN stabilisation mission in the DR Congo (Monusco) has been unable to protect civilians – as the recent massacre in the city of Beni demonstrated. "On behalf of the S&D Group, we call on the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, to launch an international inquiry into these massacres, in collaboration with the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. We also urge the European members of the Security Council to take all possible action within the Council in order to stop these crimes.
"The S&D Group has proposed a resolution on these massacres in the next plenary of the European Parliament. We expect other Groups to support this initiative. These crimes against humanity cannot go unpunished."