Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

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Laywer Stephan Bourgon at the opening of Bosco Ntaganda's trial in September 2015 (Photo: Twitter/ ICC-CPI)
09 September 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg

Former Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) has gone on hunger strike to protest long-standing restrictions on his phone calls and visitors to the detention unit, his lawyer said Friday.

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Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo in the ICC courtroom during the delivery of his verdict on 21 March 2016 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
21 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday ruled that Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba's troops raped, murdered and pillaged civilians in the Central African Republic and that he, as their commander, could be held criminally responsible. The ruling is a historic one for the ICC as it is the first time the court has handed down convictions for sexual and crimes and also a first conviction on the basis of command responsibility [IJT-191].

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Initial appearance of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba and Fidèle Babala Wandu, 27 November 2013  (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
17 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The International Criminal Court will rule this coming Monday in the case of Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba who stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bemba, who was transferred to The Hague in 2008 was seen as the first 'big fish' to have been caught by the permanent war crimes court.

The accusations relate to crimes allegedly committed by his troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) during 2002 and 2003, when Bemba was asked by then CAR president Ange-Félix Patassé to provide support during a civil war. As commander of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), Bemba is held accountable for multiple rapes and other crimes by his troops in CAR.

IJT spoke to three experts and longtime observers of the Bemba case about the significance of the ruling for the ICC, for international justice and jurisprudence and for the victims.

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A UN peacekeeper patrols the Beni region in eastern DRC, near the Ugandan border (Flickr/UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti)
17 May 2015 by Samuel Egadu Okiror, Kampala (Uganda)

The dispute between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over Jamil Mukulu, leader of Uganda’s Islamist rebel group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who was arrested last month in Tanzania, has exposed a lack of concerted regional effort in pursuing justice and accountability.

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ICC judges in Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui case on a visit to Ituri in January 2012 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
11 March 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

This is the second in a series of articles delving into the challenges faced by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court. In our last issue [IJT-176], Tjitske Lingsma explored why the ICC seems afflicted by untruthful witnesses. In the third article, we examine the growing importance of technological evidence, like phone records and computer data, to reduce the reliance on witness testimony.

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ICC's office of public counsel for victims at the Lubanga appeals hearing on 3 March 2015 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
10 March 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In a landmark appeals ruling last week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued guidelines on reparations to victims in the Lubanga case that are expected to lead the court in future cases.

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President Kenyatta and his defence team, with lawyer Steven Kay in first row, at 8 December 2014 status conference (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
24 February 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

This is the first in a series of articles delving into the challenges faced by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court. In our next issue, Tjitske Lingsma focuses on the use of intermediaries in situation countries. In the third article, we examine the growing importance of technological evidence, like phone records and computer data, to reduce the reliance on witness testimony.