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Verdict Monday in War Crimes Trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba

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Verdict Monday in War Crimes Trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba

Posted by Enough Team on March 19, 2016

Enough Project experts available for comment and analysis

On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is scheduled to deliver a verdict in the war crimes trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Experts at the Enough Project have been following the case, and will be available for comment and analysis.

Bemba is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity including rape, murder, and pillage allegedly committed during armed conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002 and 2003. Bemba has denied all charges against him.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The Bemba trial reminds us that atrocities are often inherently transnational. It has examined the use of elite cross-border alliances, and the all-too-common reality that perpetrators can commit extreme brutality remotely, from high up a chain of command."

Bemba is a former leader of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), an armed rebel group which the ICC prosecution accuses of widespread sexual violence during a military campaign to help defend the former president of CAR, Ange-Félix Patassé, from a coup attempt. 

Dranginis added: "Monday's judgement, now six years in the making, comes at an historic moment as a brand new government takes office in CAR, where Bemba's alleged crimes took place over a decade ago. In Bemba's case, the ICC has broken new ground on critical issues like witness intimidation, and sent a timely message to governments in CAR and DRC [The Democratic Republic of the Congo] that abuse of power will not be ignored."

During the trial, the prosecution has argued Bemba is liable for the alleged crimes of his troops. The Bemba trial began in November 2010. 

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The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at