Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table a petition on behalf of some 50 constituents of the riding of Mount Royal who seek to bring to the attention of this House the continued gross violations of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country that has been witness to the world's deadliest conflicts since World War II, where some 5 million people have died in the last 12 years alone in what has been called “Africa's world war”.
The petitioners are rightly alarmed by the war crimes and crimes against humanity targeting the innocent, by the massive acts of rape, sexual violence, pillaging, forced labour and summary executions perpetrated on a daily basis and by the repressive measures inflicted by an increasing dictatorial regime.
Accordingly, the petitioners call upon the government to take a leading diplomatic role in implementing international resolutions to put an end to the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and to respect existing peace accords, to support the creation of an international criminal tribunal to put an end to the culture of impugnity and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice, and to organize an international conference in Canada on the situation in the Congo.
We cannot continue to be indifferent bystanders. Silence is not an option. The massive violations of human rights require immediate action on behalf of Canada and on behalf of the international community.