13 June 2014

Congo-Kinshasa: Weekly Summary - Congolese Ex-Militiaman and Ivorian Ex-President Sent to Trial

Arusha — In two separate decisions, the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week confirmed charges against former Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda and former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo.


General Ntaganda committed to trial: The list of charges against Congolese ex-militia leader Bosco Ntaganda is long: murder and attempted murder, attacking civilians, rape, sexual slavery of civilians, pillaging, displacement of civilians, attacking protected objects, destroying the enemy's property, and enlistment and conscription of child soldiers under the age of fifteen. The ICC's pre-trial chamber decided unanimously that there was enough evidence to commit Ntaganda to trial for crimes committed in Ituri, northeastern DRC, in 2002 and 2003.


President Catherine Samba-Panza refers crimes to ICC: It was the Justice Minister of the Central African Republic, Isabelle Gaudeuille, who announced Tuesday the decision of the transitional government. According to a communiqué read on state radio by the minister, transitional president Catherine Samba-Panza wrote to the ICC on May 30 inviting Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate the most serious crimes committed in the CAR since August 1, 2012. Bensouda, who had already opened a preliminary examination, said the request by the CAR authorities would speed up her work.


Confirmation of charges against Gbagbo: The ICC on Thursday confirmed four crimes against humanity charges against Laurent Gbagbo, thus committing the Ivorian ex-president to trial. Gbagbo is charged with murder, rape, other inhumane acts or - in the alternative - attempted murder, and persecution, in connection with post-election violence in Côte d'Ivoire in 2010 and 2011. The Court found that there was enough evidence to try Gbagbo on the grounds of individual responsibility for these crimes. US-based NGO Human Rights Watch welcomed the decision but called on the ICC Prosecutor's office to investigate also crimes committed by supporters of current Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara.


The trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang continues next week before the ICC.


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