MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Human Rights Watch has condemned on Wednesday the authorities of Congo for failing to provide adequate care and attention to demobilized combatants and their families staying at a military camp.
"Over 100 demobilized combatants, their wives, and children have died from starvation and disease in a remote military camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo after officials failed to provide adequate food and health care," reads the HRW statement.
In September 2013, for a purported three-month period, the government of Congo moved 941 surrendered fighters and their families to a military camp in Kotakoli, which is located northwest of the country, before they would be integrated into the army or civilian life afterwards.
According to the statement, the soldiers and their families had run out of food and medical supplies by the end of the last year, with Congo's authorities dispatching only the minimum of the necessary supplies.
So far, 42 former fighters, five women, and 57 children have died on account of poor conditions in the Kotakoli camp, which is a fundamental breach of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, HRW stated.
Ida Sawyer, who is a senior Congo researcher, said in the statement that such neglect of the former warriors and their families amounted to crime.
HRW calls on the government of Congo to immediately take the former fighters and their families to a place where they would receive adequate treatment. It also calls for punishing those responsible for the current situation.