EU Soldiers Accused of Torturing Congolese Civilians

A group of Swedish soldiers have alleged that they witnessed French soldiers torture Congolese civilians during operations in the area in 2003.

Five years ago, the European Union sent some 1,500 soldiers to DR Congo as part of a UN mission to take action against the bandits marauding the north-eastern part of the country. The troops were there to protect the civilians.

Now the Swedish military is saying that French soldiers tortured Congolese civilians during the operation. The German government, which didn’t send troops on the mission but provided logistical assistance, couldn’t confirm the accusations.


Results from an ensuing investigation indicate that it is highly probable that the torture allegations are valid.

In the notice, a lawyer representing the Swedish military said that “torture-like methods” had been implemented during the Artemis mission. The other EU countries that participated in the operation have been informed of the scandal, claimed the military.

Hopefully, these charges will be thoroughly investigated and not swept under the rug. I won’t hold my breath, though. I don’t know enough about EU operations in the Congo or the circumstances of these incidents to comment intelligently. Just about everything I could find online was just a regurgitation of the same wire report.

(far too snarky considering the gravity of the subject matter link via Glenn Reynolds)

FILED UNDER: Africa, Europe, World Politics, , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    But it’s the UN and the US isn’t involved. How can it be anything but sunshine and ponies?

  2. LaurenceB says:

    “Far too snarky” is absolutely correct. For a guy who claims to be anti-torture, Glenn Reynolds seems to have a lot of contempt for people who are anti-torture.

  3. TomJW says:

    Reynolds has a lot of comtempt for people who are anti-American. They will be against torture if they think Americans did it, but not care when others do it.

  4. submandave says:

    If to a hammer everything looks like a nail, I guess to Lawrence everyone who doesn’t agree 100% with whatever idea he has looks like a fascist neo-con racist homophobe pig-man (complete with whatever pejorative for “counter revolutionary” is currently vogue).

    To note and comment on the obvious double standard with which Europe and much of the rest of the world judge the US and its actions neither implies not requires one to agree with nor approve of either actual US actions or whatever they may be accused of this week. For example, if I were to note that a prosecutor was harsh on a group of rich kids who vandalized a street sign but lax with a poor kid who raped an old lady it is simply a comment against the prosecutor and should not be viewed as any support for the rich thugs. It’s called reading for comprehension, my dear Lawrence, not digging for political angle.

    Just to really get you going, though, allow me to say that I am both firmly against torture as well as against dumbing down the definition of torture to suit one’s political gain.

  5. Rollo says:

    They could have used Roland the Thompson gunner, Norway’s bravest son.