Iturians question ICC head

23 December 2009 by Hélène Michaud

It might seem like just another village meeting, but the presence of armed police at the local parish hall suggests something serious is going on.

The residents of the village of Fataki have gathered to hear the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, who is visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this week for the first time.

A native son
This is Thomas Lubanga territory. The ICC’s highest official has come to explain why the ex-militia leader, born in a nearby village and considered a native son, is now standing trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity 6,000 kilometers away in The Hague.

The 250 residents, local leaders and representatives of local associations listen attentively as he outlines why the ICC was set up and how it works. He lists some of the crimes tried at the court under international law.

“It is illegal to target civilians with military terrorise civilian populations, to rape women and girls... to forcefully recruit children under the age of 15 into an armed force and make them fight.”
Lubanga is accused of enlisting and conscripting children under 15 years old and using them to participate actively in hostilities.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.