International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Victims Testify in Genocide Retrial of Ríos Montt and Rodríguez Sánchez

Petrona Raymundo Brito was eight years old in October 1982, when the army arrived in her village in the Ixil region of Quiché in northwestern Guatemala. “When they arrived they burned our belongings, they burned our crops, and they killed our animals,” she told the court that is hearing genocide charges against former military intelligence chief Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez. She also testified in closed-door proceedings against former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who is being prosecuted separately from Rodríguez Sánchez.

“They killed many people. My uncle and my aunt died there. They also killed my brother-in-law Jacinto Chen,” stated Raymundo Brito. Because of the army massacres, she said, “we fled to the mountains. Helicopters filled with soldiers passed overhead. They shot at … Continue Reading

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Witness Says Survivors of LRA Attack on Abok Still Have Nightmares

A leader of the Abok camp for internally displaced people (IDP) told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that some survivors of a Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attack on the camp 13 years ago still have nightmares about that attack.

Cyprian Ayoo told the court Abok was attacked around eight at night on June 8, 2004, and the attack continued for up to three hours during which time he heard three exchanges of gunfire and saw the homes of camp residents being set on fire. Ayoo said some of the residents who were abducted returned the following day after Ugandan government soldiers pursued the LRA.

“Were they [survivors of the Abok attack] fearful of another attack happening?” asked Megan Hirst, a lawyer representing … Continue Reading

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Réactions de la population d’un village d’Ituri sur les réparations dans l’affaire Lubanga

Cet article a été préparé par notre partenaire Radio Canal Révélation, une station radio basée à Bunia, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans le cadre d’un projet de radio interactive pour la justice et la paix qui favorise la mise en débat des questions touchant à la justice en RDC. Les vues de la population relayées dans cet article sont celles des personnes interviewées et ne représentent pas forcément les vues de tous les membres de la communauté ni celles des victimes.

14 ans après les faits, des centaines de victimes des crimes commis par Bosco Ntaganda et Thomas Lubanga à Mahagi, dans la Province de l’Ituri au Nord Est de la République Démocratique du Congo, se plaignent du fait … Continue Reading

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DNA Expert Says Tests Show Ongwen is the Father of 11 Children

The question of whether Dominic Ongwen fathered 12 children during his time with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was the subject of the November 27 hearing at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ate Kloosterman, a DNA expert, told the court he conducted two separate tests on samples from 12 children and Dominic Ongwen to determine the paternity of the children. He said the results showed that 11 of them are most likely Ongwen’s children. Kloosterman said the tests showed the probability of this to be 99.9 percent.

The question of paternity in the trial of Ongwen, a former LRA commander, may be relevant because Ongwen has been charged with two counts of forced pregnancy as a war crime and as a crime … Continue Reading

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Judges to Pronounce Lubanga’s Financial Liability for Reparations

This Friday, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges will declare the financial liability that former Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga will bear in reparation to victims of his crimes. In the only case at the court in which judges have made such a ruling, they determined that former militia leader Germain Katanga – also Congolese – bears a financial liability of US$ 1 million.

Lubanga, the first person tried by the ICC, was convicted in March 2012 of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years and using them in armed conflict in Congo’s Ituri district during 2002 and 2003, and he was handed a 14-year prison term. In December 2014, the ICC Appeals Chamber, by … Continue Reading

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Les juges devraient se prononcer sur la responsabilité financière de M. Lubanga pour les réparations

Ce vendredi, les juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) se prononceront sur la responsabilité financière que l’ancien chef rebelle congolais Thomas Lubanga portera en réparations aux victimes de ses crimes. Il s’agit de la seule affaire jugée par la Cour dans laquelle les juges aient émis ce type de décision, ils ont décidé que l’ancien chef de milice Germain Katanga, également congolais, porte une responsabilité financière de 1 million de dollars US.

Lubanga, la première personne jugée par la CPI, a été reconnu coupable en mars 2012 des crimes de guerre de circonscription et d’enrôlement d’enfants de moins de 15 ans et pour les avoir utilisé dans un conflit armé qui s’est déroulé dans le district de l’Ituri, au Congo, en 2002 et … Continue Reading

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Witness Gives Details of Uganda Police Intercept Operation

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the Uganda Police Force ran its own operation to eavesdrop on radio communication between various commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that was independent of similar operations by other security agencies.

Patrick Lumumba Nyero told the court that he began intercepting LRA radio communication for the police in 2003 and continued to do so for three years until he was unable to hear LRA commanders communicate. He said during the three years he eavesdropped on LRA commanders he was able to hear them as far away as Sudan while he was at his post in northern Uganda.

Nyero testified about the Uganda Police Force intercept operation between November 22 and November 23 … Continue Reading

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Uganda’s Ambiguous Relationship with the ICC Amidst Ongwen’s Trial

Uganda’s relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) could be described as ambiguous given a series of recent disturbing incidents. Key among them is the tenacity to twice host Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir despite being a state signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC, and, moreover, amidst an ongoing trial of a former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander from Uganda.

The Sudanese president has two outstanding arrest warrants issued by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide allegedly committed in Darfur, Sudan, where it is estimated that around 300,000 people were killed and over two million were forced to leave their homes between 2003 and 2008. However, the Sudanese president has … Continue Reading

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Le dernier témoin du procès Ntaganda se concentre sur sur le viol présumé d’enfants soldats

Le viol présumé d’enfants soldats dans la milice congolaise a été au cœur du témoignage apporté jeudi par un témoin appelé par les avocats de l’ancien chef rebelle Bosco Ntaganda. M. Ntaganda, qui est jugé devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) depuis septembre 2015, est accusé de 18 chefs de crimes de guerre et de crimes contre l’humanité, notamment de viol et d’abus sexuel d’enfants soldats.

Le témoin D215, qui a servi dans le groupe rebelle appelé l’Union des patriotes congolais (UPC), a remis en cause le récit d’un témoin de l’accusation dénommé témoin P10, un ancien enfant soldat présumé de l’UPC, qui a déclaré qu’il y avait des abus sexuels au sein de l’UPC. Elle a témoigné en majeure partie à huis clos.

Selon la défense, … Continue Reading

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Alleged Rape of Child Soldiers the Focus of Ntaganda’s Latest Witness

The alleged rape of child soldiers in a Congolese militia was the focus of Thursday’s testimony by a witness called by lawyers for former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda. Ntaganda, who has been on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) since September 2015, is charged with 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the rape and sexual abuse of child soldiers.

Witness D215, who served with the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) rebel group, disputed the account of a prosecution witness known as Witness P10, an alleged former UPC child soldier, who said there was sexual abuse within the UPC. She testified largely in closed session.

According to the defense, the testimony of Witness D215 – a female fighter … Continue Reading

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