Enough Calls “Historic” Recommendation to Launch Ntaganda War Crimes Case in D.R.Congo
March 19, 2015 — Today, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) made an historic recommendation to start the war crimes trial of Bosco Ntaganda in the Democratic Republic of Congo. If approved, this would be the first ICC trial to start outside the court’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.
The former militia leader Ntaganda, known by the moniker “The Terminator,” is charged with crimes including murder, rape, and the use of child soldiers. His trial is scheduled to begin June 2015.
The Enough Project can offer Congo Policy Analyst and international law expert Holly Dranginis for interviews, analysis, and background on the ICC case.
Holly Dranginis, Enough Project Policy Analyst said: "Today, the ICC has said loudly and clearly, we have a responsibility to bring our work closer to victims. The Chambers' recommendation is a welcome, and potentially historic, development. For the first time, the ICC would take its proceedings straight to the scene of the crimes. Holding an ICC trial in Bunia, in the heart of the affected communities, will offer greater access for victims to the justice process as it unfolds, and expose judges and attorneys to the very environment where the acts of brutality occurred. Too often war crimes victims are excluded from the trials that impact them because of distance, logistical challenges, resource restraints, or apathy on the part of courts. There are challenges associated with this proposal that must be handled carefully, but overall this is a step forward for international justice.”
Dranginis added: “The ICC decision also emphasized the need for more robust outreach, establishing video and radio broadcasts of the trial. All this hearkens back to the days of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, when families would watch on their televisions as victims and perpetrators testified about violence that left scars and shaped the trajectory of their country. This new recommendation by the ICC chambers signals a move toward a more inclusive court, which will mean a more effective court."
About the Enough Project:
For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group."
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change.
To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.