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Prosecution Opening Statement

In his opening statement, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo introduced the prosecution’s case against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chiu.  He described the attack as a “consequence of the national and international failures to prevent…massive crimes” such as the Rwandan genocide. Mr. Ocampo went on to describe in detail the use of child soldiers, brutal killings, rapes, and looting that took place during the attack on Bogoro and how it was allegedly planned by the defendants.

Following Mr. Ocampo’s statement, Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda outlined the background and existence of an armed conflict in Ituri during the period relevant to the charges.  She described the case against Katanga and Ngudjolo in its context in the Congo – the unfolding of a massive international conflict in which nine states were involved and resulted in the deaths of approximately four million people between 1998 and 2004.  Ms. Bensouda further argued that the attack on Bogoro by the defendants was part of a widespread and systematic attacked against civilians.

Finally, Senior Trial Lawyer Eric MacDonald presented on the individual criminal responsibility of Katanga and Ngudjolo.  He argued the defendant’s responsibility is based on their “direct line authority” that they had as leaders of the two armed groups that participated in the Bogoro attack.

The entire transcript for the opening day of the trial, of which Mr. Ocampo, Ms. Bensouda, and Mr. MacDonald’s opening statements were a part, can be found in full here: http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/BB95CE30-5C9C-428B-BDD9-1B8BF127D2B8.htm.

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MR MORENO-OCAMPO: Mr President, your Honours. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, representing 110 State Parties to the Rome Statute and committed citizens from all over the world, allege that Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui are responsible for some of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The Prosecution submits that they are criminally responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bogoro, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on 24 February 2003.

They used children as soldiers. They killed more than 200 civilians in a few hours. They raped women, girls and elderly. They loot the entire village and they transform women into sexual slaves. Mr Katanga and Mr Ngudjolo were the leaders of militias composed of members of the Lendu and Ngiti communities. They were involved in an armed conflict with the UPC, a militia predominantly composed of members of the Hema community and led by Thomas Lubanga.

The Bogoro attack was not an isolated event. It was part of a widespread and systemic attack against the civilian population of Ituri. The Bogoro attack took place at the end of the two Congo wars. This neglected conflict, the Congo wars, involved more than nine African countries for more than four years of fighting. As a consequence of these wars, almost four million people died, making the Congo wars the gravest conflict since World War II. At the root of the Congo wars is the genocide in Rwanda.

In April 1994 the international community failed to act when the genocide started in Rwanda. One million fifty thousand people were exterminated within three months. Some of the génocidaires were allowed to escape to neighbouring Congo. There they regrouped and became a crucial factor in triggering the two Congo wars. The Bogoro attack is the consequence of the national and international failures to prevent and control such massive crimes.

The Rome Statute was adopted in 1998 to end the impunity for such crimes, crimes that we have thought over and over will never happen again, only to see them occur again and again before our eyes. This International Criminal Court has not jurisdiction over most of the crimes committed during the Congo wars, but this office is determined to do justice for the Bogoro victims and to contribute to stopping the cycles of violence in Ituri and in the Great Lakes region, a region still unstable.

It is time to apply the Rome Statute to prevent genocide, to prevent another Congo war, to make the premise of “never again” real. No more will the victims of massive crimes be ignored. The people from such places as Bogoro, Bunia, Aveba and Zumbe must know that they are not alone, that they do not need to resort to violence again. The Hema, the Ngiti, the Lendu, the people from Ituri, have to feel that they are part of a global community, that we are their brothers and sisters. The Rome Statute is building one global community to protect the right of victims all over the world.

Mr President, I will use a slide to explain where is Bogoro and why did Katanga and Ngudjolo decide to target Bogoro.

I will use this map and then this will tell the picture to show the situation. You will see that Bogoro is at the crossroad on the way to Bunia. Mr Katanga and Mr Ngudjolo planned to attack Bogoro so as to open the Bunia-Kasenyi route and at the same time prevent UPC attacks on neighbouring Lendu and Ngiti villages.

The UPC had a military camp in the centre of Bogoro. It was located at the Bogoro institute. You can see in the picture its position and you can see in the picture highlighted the trench that surrounded the Bogoro Institute. This is the situation. You are sitting in the crossroad, UPC there. But Mr Ngudjolo and Mr Katanga’s plan was more than just disabling the UPC. The plan was to wipe out Bogoro, destroying not only the UPC camp but the whole civilian village. This is the plan and this is the position of the Prosecutor’s office.

The attack on Bogoro was carried out in successive waves of violence. At around 5.30 in the morning hundreds of women, men and children, under the command of Mr Katanga and Mr Ngudjolo, armed with automatic weapons, machetes and spears, descended on the village centre. Mr Katanga and Mr Ngudjolo forces did not distinguish between military and non-military targets. When questioned about the number of civilian deaths, Mr Ngudjolo responded, and I quote, “There are not any civilians amongst the Hemas. They are all soldiers.” Therefore, civilians and UPC soldiers were killed without distinction. Some were shot in their sleep, some cut up with machetes to preserve bullets. Others were burnt alive after their house were set on fire by the attackers.

Awakened by gunfire and the screams of their neighbours, some civilians attempted to flee but found the escape routes blocked. Most were shot in flight. Many sought refuge in the Bogoro Institute, in the centre of town. They were easy prey. As you will hear, the bodies of dead civilians filled the rooms of the Bogoro Institute.

Victims will come here and will tell this Court of the brutal killings. Some were forced to watch the mother of their own family members, “The combatant,” I quote, “The combatants ordered me to leave the house with my children and they surrounded us. I took my children by the hand but the combatants held them, and while this combatant fired on my two daughters on the spot. He only shot twice from his gun.”

Some reached the bush and hid while others were captured, but the slaughter and devastation were not over. As a victim will describe, and I quote again, “From where we were, we could see that each time the attackers came across someone, they will kill him and cut him up in pieces. They kill everyone. They did not make any distinction between men, women, children and the elderly.”

The troops of the accused first raped and then killed women. Two child soldiers found a 50-year old woman, sick and exhausted, in a house outside the village. One of the child soldiers described the scene. “The maman, the mother, told us that we were like her children and she started crying. Then we left. We did not — we did not have the courage to kill her.” That’s what he’ll say. That’s the instruction.

But other members of Mr Katanga and Mr Ngudjolo forces followed the order to kill. This woman was found and the child soldiers explained, “We found her undressed and naked, like an animal. She had been strangled and her tongue was outside. Her legs were open. One of her legs was tied with ropes to the pillar in the middle of the house and the other leg to the door. She was dead.”

By the end of the afternoon the screams had faded. Dead bodies surrounded the commanders. Homes that were burned continued amid the rubble. Commanders were congratulated by their troops for a job well done. One witness will say, and I quote, “The officers were set up there in the middle of the town. They had put some chairs. They were drinking beer and they got drunk. And they were even congratulating the commander who had led the operation.”

The next day captured civilians were forced at gunpoint to lure out other community members who were hiding in the bush. When they appeared, these survivors were brutally executed. The joint attack achieved its goal, but horror was not over yet for the women of Bogoro. Once captured, some women hid their Hema identity to save their lives. Those later revealed as Hema were killed. The others were raped and forced into marriage as combatant wife, or detained to serve as sexual slaves by Mr Katanga or Mr Ngudjolo’s soldiers. All these women were victimised on the basis of their gender. They were attacked in particular because they were women.

Mr President, your Honours. The Prosecution will show that Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo planned the attack. They were the top commanders of the forces which killed, raped and loot the civilians, and that both intended and were satisfied by the success of their criminal operation. Mr Katanga boasted that he had ordered and planned the attack and bluntly described its aims, openly documenting the atrocities that were committed. He said, I quote, “About Bogoro, which is a village predominantly Hema, the attack was carried out to take revenge on massacres perpetrated by the Hemas in another village.” And laughing, he added that, “Nothing was spared, absolutely nothing: Chickens, goats, everything. Anywhere there was nothing left. There were nothing left. Everything was wiped out.”

Mr President, your Honours, Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will now present with more detail the context in which the crimes were committed.

MS BENSOUDA: Mr President, your Honours. The Prosecution’s evidence will demonstrate that when the attack on Bogoro occurred, an ongoing armed conflict existed in the territory of Ituri involving several organised armed groups, including Lubanga’s UPC, the FNI, the FRPI as well as the Ugandan army. Early in his recitation, the Prosecutor referred to the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda, following which génocidaires fled that country and regrouped in the DRC, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Rwanda genocide is the root of the two Congo wars.

In 1996 a first conflict broke out in Congo, then known as Zaire. It was triggered by the presence of the Rwandan génocidaires in the Eastern Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These génocidaires began to launch attacks on Rwanda from their position in the Kivus.

Uganda and Rwanda provided support to a rebel group led by Laurent Désiré Kabila against the men and the then leader of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko, and they were instrumental in ousting Mobutu in 1997. In 1998, a second larger conflict broke out in the Congo after relations deteriorated between Kabila, the father, and the new President of the Congo and his former allies.

Under international pressure, Rwanda and Uganda retreated from a large part of the Congo, but remained in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda consolidated its presence in a large part of the Province of Oriental, which included Ituri, and Rwanda consolidated its presence in the Kivus.

At least nine countries and many local militias were involved in these wars, and it is estimated that between 1998 and 2003 close to 4 million people died in relation to these events. They died largely from disease and starvation as the population was displaced and fled the combat zones.

At the beginning of this second conflict, armed groups depicting themselves as Groupes Politico-Militaire took control of Ituri with the support of Uganda and Rwanda. These governments each supported at different times Ituri-based militias by supplying them with weapons, ammunition, military training and expertise, uniforms and financial support. 

The Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, including Ituri, is a rich and fertile area. The armed conflict out of which the attack on Bogoro arose started in mid-1999 with a series of land disputes and violent confrontations between the Hema and the Lendu groups. And by the end of 2001, the violence escalated to an intensive attack launched by either group on villages.

In April of 2002, the states involved in the Congo conflicts, as well as the main Congolese groups, began peace negotiations in Sun City in South Africa. In April of 2002, after being excluded from the Sun City negotiations, Thomas Lubanga publicly announced his own mouvement politico-militaire, the Hema dominated UPC. At first, the UPC was supported by the Ugandan army, but later changed alliances and Rwanda became its source of support.

In August of 2002, the UPC took over the town of Bunia. Non-Hema residents were displaced and they fled south, mostly to Beni area in Kivu North. Mathieu Ngudjolo, a Lendu, fled Bunia and went to his village of Zumbe in the Djugu territory. 

From August 2002 onwards, the UPC and Ngiti, their armed groups were engaged in this armed conflict. By the fall of 2002, the Ngiti and some Lendu had joined forces under the umbrella of the FRPI. At the same time, a number of other Lendu had formed the FNI. Once in Zumbe, Matheiu Ndudjolo became the leader of the Lendu combatants based in that area. During the fall of 2002, from his base village of Aveba, Germain Katanga, Ngiti emerged as the leader of the FRPI. 

On 6 March 2003, the Ugandan army, with the support of the FNI and the FRPI forces, attacked the UPC in Bunia and occupied parts of the city. And on 6 May 2003, under pressure from the international community, the UPDF began their pullout from Ituri and left Bunia. About a week later, the UPC re-took Bunia. The UPDF completed their withdrawal from the DRC on 2 June 2003, following the Luanda agreement. The UPDF’s departure – excuse me – marked the end of the second Congo war.

Mr President, your Honours, let me now address you on the widespread and systematic attack on civilians. The Prosecution will show that the Bogoro attack was part of a series of attacks perpetrated by various armed groups throughout the district of Ituri from August 2002 to July 2003. Most attacks did not discriminate between military or civilian targets. They were directed at both. And as a result of these attacks, approximately 8,000 civilians were killed and more than 600,000 were forced to flee their homes. Mr President, your Honours, as you can see on the slide which depicts that the attacks on these — on these villages were indiscriminate.

The February 2003 attack on Bogoro was part of a pattern of widespread and systematic attacks perpetrated by the Lendu and the Ngiti militias against the civilian population of mostly Hema origin. Between August 2002 and July 2003, the Lendu and Ngiti forces were responsible for many attacks. Let me describe some of these attacks.

On 5 September 2002, Ngiti militia along with other forces attacked the UPC-controlled town of Nyankunde. The attack lasted only a few hours, and it ended with the destruction of the UPC camp. In the following 10 days, the attackers hunted out and killed an estimated 1,200 Hema and Bira civilians.

On 4 March 2003, the allied forces of Katanga and Ngudjolo attacked UPC military positions located in Mandro. An estimated 168 civilians were deliberately killed during this short attack. Again, Mr President, on 6 March 2003, FNI and FRPI forces supported the Ugandan army in attacking the UPC in Bunia. This resulted in the willful killing of many civilians.

On 3 April 2003, FNI militias attacked at least 11 Drodro area villages where UPC combatants were located; and at a minimum, 400 civilians were deliberately killed during these attacks. From 6 to 16 May 2003, after the withdrawal of UPDF from Bunia, fighting erupted between the UPC and the FNI/FRPI for the control of the city. During this fighting, there were instances of ethnically-targeted killings. There were also instances of pillaging and destruction of property. More than 500 cases of deliberate killings were reported, and approximately 200,000 civilians fled Bunia and its surrounding areas.

On 31 May 2003, the FNI attacked the village of Tchomia. More than 250 civilians were deliberately murdered, including 30 patients that were still, unfortunately, on their hospital beds.

On 11 June 2003, FNI and FRPI forces attacked the village of Kasenyi. More than 80 civilians were deliberately killed, while at least 30 civilians were abducted. During the Ituri conflict, Lendu and Ngiti militias abducted and raped women from all tribes, including their own women, women they considered to be butin de guerre. In fact, during the earlier attacks on Bogoro in 2001 and 2002, young girls were abducted and forced to become wives of combatants. During the Nyankunde attack, many young girls, Mr President, were raped, and either killed or taken to Ngiti camps or Lendu camps to become sexual slaves.

During later attacks, women were often used to carry looted goods to the camps, and they remained captive. They were raped and deprived of their identity and of their liberty. Their existence, Mr President, was reduced to being the forced wives or sexual slaves of soldiers.

Mr President, your Honours, at this moment, with your kind permission, I would like to call on senior trial lawyer Mr Eric Macdonald to present the remaining opening remarks of the Prosecution.

MR MACDONALD: (Interpretation from French) Your Honour, allow me to speak to the individual criminal responsibility of the accused Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo. 

The Prosecution will demonstrate that the accused are criminally responsible as the main perpetrators under the Rome Statute of the crimes committed in Bogoro. All the crimes in question were the result of a common plan that was drawn up by the accused and other commanders, and the ultimate objective of this plan was to wipe Bogoro off the map.

The Prosecution shall demonstrate that Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo both developed the plan to attack Bogoro, and their respective militia were entrusted with the task of carrying out this plan. The accused coordinated their efforts and played an essential role in carrying out the plan.

With regard to the crime of having children under 15 years of age participating actively in hostilities, the Prosecution shall demonstrate that both accused used children and had them become soldiers, have them taking part directly in the attack on the village of Bogoro.

As for all the other crimes, the Prosecution will demonstrate that the criminal responsibility of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo is based on the direct line authority that they enjoyed. They were the leaders of the groups that came under their control during the attack on Bogoro, and they used these groups to conduct the attack.

The Lendu and Ngiti militia who committed the crimes in question did so on the orders of the accused. Thus, the crimes committed by each militia can be attributed to their respective leaders. Furthermore, following the principle of mutual attribution of crimes amongst co-perpetrators, it is of little importance determining which militia committed which crime, because their actions can be attributed to both accused, insofar as both these crimes were committed as part of a common plan.

The Prosecution shall demonstrate that between the end of 2002 and the joint attack led by the FNI and the FRPI against Bogoro, Mathieu Ngudjolo was the leader of the FNI for all the Lendu combatants in the military camps in the Zumbe region. The Prosecution shall also demonstrate that in the fall of 2002 Germain Katanga became the supreme commander of all the FRPI forces. Mr. Katanga and Mr Ngudjolo were the supreme commanders of their respective forces during the planning of the attack and the execution thereof.

Finally, the evidence shall make it very clear that the accused had the criminal intent that is required with regard to the charges that they are facing. The Prosecution shall prove that the accused had the intent of committing the following crimes by way of their common plan.

First of all, the fact that they led an attack against a civilian population. Secondly, willful killings. Third, the destruction of property. Four, the fact that they had children under 15 years of age taking an active role in hostilities. Furthermore, the evidence will show that the two accused were well aware that the crimes of looting, sexual enslavement and rape would occur in the normal course of events.

Let me now describe the structure of the FNI and FRPI camps. Germain Katanga was the de jure supreme commander of the FRPI and exercised de facto control over the commanders of the group. During the same period Mathieu Ngudjolo exercised similar control over the FNI and its commanders based in the Zumbe region.

The FRPI was created in late 2002 during meetings organised at Beni. The purpose of those meetings was to join forces and organise Lendu and Ngiti resistance against the UPC, which was attacking the various communities in Ituri, in order to exploit the natural resources of the region.

The FRPI was the first noteworthy attempt to bring under the same command the various Ngiti and Lendu forces. During the same period, the Lendu community created a similar opposition movement to the UPC, known as the FNI. The FNI was created in December 2002 during discussions carried out initially at Kpandroma in the DRC and subsequently in Arua, Uganda. On the map that you can see on your screen, you can see the map, or rather, the town of Beni in the south and in the north, Kpandroma in Ituri, DRC and then Arua in Uganda.

Up to the time of the official creation of those two movements in late 2002, the Lendu combatants were under the authority of local leaders who organised attacks against, or rather, who organised the defence against the attacks carried out by the UPC and during that period Ngudjolo consolidated his power and his authority over the Lendu fighters in the Zumbe region.

In the autumn of 2002 Germain Katanga became the leader of the Ngiti fighters of Walendu Bindi. At least eight military camps in that collectivité took part in the execution of the attack in Bogoro. Germain Katanga commanded the Aveba camp, which was also known as the Bureau de Command Combattant Aveba, that is BCA. He resided in this camp which became his headquarters.

The other commanders from other regions came and reported to him. Germain Katanga actually owned a radio set that he used to communicate with the other FRPI camps. Weapons and ammunition were delivered by air to Aveba. They were stored in the BCA before being distributed to the other camps of the FRPI and the FNI in anticipation of attacks, such as that in Bogoro. 

The Prosecution will also show that during the same period the Lendu fighters in the Zumbe region had been split up similarly in a series of military camps, each camp with its own commander. Those camps were all located about ten kilometres away from each other. Mathieu Ngudjolo lived in Kambutso but he was the commander of a camp located in Zumbe village. Mathieu Ngudjolo exercised his authority over the other camp commanders. He issued orders which were implemented by his subordinates.

He, himself, was empowered to judge and punish and, in fact, he did not refrain from punishing his subordinates, including the execution of certain soldiers. With your leave, I will describe briefly the map that is on the screen. You can see the FRPI camps, Medhu, Golgota, Kagaba, Landrietsi (phon), Aveba, Bukiringi and Bavi, Olongba, and in the red triangle you can see Zumbe, Kambutso, Ezekere and the Beni camp.

Mr President, your Honours, at the same time as the creation of this network of camps in the end of 2002 some Ngitis and Lendus decided to join forces in the face of the aggression of the UPC. That is how come the FRPI and the FNI planned the attack at Bogoro and executed it. Let me now describe to you the joint enterprise to attack Bogoro.

The Prosecution will show that the attack against Bogoro was planned by the FNI and FRPI commanders at the home of Katanga in Aveba at the end of 2002, early 2003. Between autumn 2002 and the time at which the attack against Bogoro was carried out, Germain Katanga went to Beni and returned with weapons, ammunition and other materials, particularly mobile radio sets, and you can see Aveba on the map and the route to Beni.

Late 2002, early 2003, there was a delegation of FNI soldiers which left Ladile in the Zumbe region and met up — and went to the Germain Katanga residence in Aveba. You can see that on the slide.

Ngudjolo had appointed Commander Boba Boba to head this delegation and represent him during that meeting with Katanga and other FRPI commanders. On that occasion, a plan was drawn up by Katanga and the other FNI and FRPI commanders to wipe out Bogoro village and take over control of the road leading to Bunia.

Let me quote the words of a former FRPI member. “The objective was to join forces to attack Bogoro. Our intention was to wipe out Bogoro.” During these negotiations Commander Boba Boba was in contact, in radio contact with his commander, Mathieu Ngudjolo. The members of the FNI delegation returned in successive waves to the Zumbe region, carrying along with them the ammunition that Katanga had given them. The FRPI commanders, who had taken part in the Aveba meeting, also returned to their respective camps.

A few days before the attack, Commander Bahati of the FRPI went to Zumbe camp where Ngudjolo was to be found and reported the details of the attack to Ngudjolo. A few days prior to the attack against Bogoro, the FRPI commanders convened a meeting in the Katanga residence to prepare the attack. Katanga disclosed to them the details of the attack and handed over to them the necessary ammunition. 

I will now describe the movements of the FRPI forces during the days preceding the attack. On the eve of the attack, the FRPI fighters met at two gathering points, Medhu to the west of Bogoro and Kagaba to the south. You can see this on the map in orange. You can see Kagaba, Medhu and Bogoro at the centre. Katanga led his fighters to the Kagaba camp. Other commanders of the FRPI, including Cobra Matata took their troops to Medhu in accordance with the plan. 

In Kagaba Katanga watched a march passed and then ordered Commanders Yuda and Dark to take the floor before the soldiers of the FRPI. Commander Yuda dwelled on the sufferings inflicted by the UPC against the Ngiti. If the FRPI were victorious they would exterminate the UPC, pillage their property, burn down their houses and settle in Bogoro. In a nutshell, the FRPI soldiers had carte blanche to raze down Bogoro. 

Later on that evening Katanga and his soldiers of the FRPI left Kagaba and took up positions in Bogoro, so you can look at that distance that they covered. They skirted the Lapka camp or village. At that time in Medhu, Commander Matata told his troops that it was necessary to wipe out Bogoro. He reminded the soldiers that Ngiti had already tried twice to take Bogoro and that it was going to have to be third time lucky. 

The troops left Medhu and split into two groups to arrive on the two different sides of Bogoro. The troops of Commander Matata marched southwards towards Mount Waka and they went towards Bogoro from Aveba/Bunia. Commander Oudo Mbafele left from Medhu and travelled north, skirting Mount Waka, and penetrated Bogoro from the road to Bunia. You can see on that map the route that they followed. 

Let me now describe the movements of the FNI forces prior to the attack. At the same time, this was about two days before the attack, Ngudjolo announced to his troops stationed in Zumbe camp that the attack against Bogoro was imminent. Still in Zumbe camp, on the eve of the attack, Mathieu Ngudjolo handed over the attack plan to Commander Boba Boba, who in turn gave it over to the fighters. Now, once again, we can see on the map in yellow the Zumbe and Ladile camps. 

On the eve of the attack Ngudjolo and Commander Nyunye went to Ladile camp. During a parade in that camp commander Boba Boba announced that the attack against Bogoro would take place the following day. This announcement was made in the presence of Mathieu Ngudjolo himself and other FNI commanders. At Ladile, Ngudjolo and the other FNI commanders agreed that Bahati would lead the operations.Subsequently, Mathieu Ngudjolo went away with the other commanders to Lagura camp. 

JUDGE DIARRA: (Interpretation from French) Mr Prosecutor, you are going a bit fast.

MR MACDONALD: (Interpretation from French) I apologise. Despite the fact that I gave the text to our interpreters.

JUDGE DIARRA: (Interpretation from French) I’m sorry, but I had to do that. 

MR MACDONALD: (Interpretation) And so Mathieu Ngudjolo, together with other commanders, went with the soldiers to Lagura camp, which is situated on a colline in Bogoro, and they met up with the other soldiers who were stationed there. You can see that on the map. 

As described earlier, Commander Bahati, who was the commander of operations, communicated the details of the attack to the soldiers in the presence of other fighters. He pointed out the various points through which the groups would penetrate Bogoro. Commander Bahati instructed his fighters to meet up in the centre of Bogoro at the end of the attack. The group led by Bahati used the road linking Bogoro to Bunia. Another FNI group positioned itself on the road next to the road linking Bogoro to Kasenyi. As you can see on the slide from Lagura, these groups travelled towards Bogoro.

Before the attack, the FNI combatants were chanting the following words: The Hema must be killed pitilessly while the Ngiti and the Bira should be spared. Similar chanting was done by the FRPI soldiers on the eve of the attack. On the road leading from Aveba to Kagaba, they were singing “If we capture a Hema, we will slit his throat and then we will kill him.”

Mr President, your Honours. The implementation of this attack on its own reflects the existence of a common plan. The weapons and ammunition that were distributed before were used, and the movements of the fighters were coordinated. The village was surrounded. There was perfect synchronisation as you can see on the screen. In yellow, you have the FNI troops, and in orange, to the south, you have the FRPI troops.

Once the objective of wiping out Bogoro was successful, Ngudjolo and Katanga met up with other commanders of the FNI and the FRPI at the village centre. It was possible to see dead bodies of civilians. The commanders and fighters of the FNI and FRPI celebrated victory in the shadows — in the shade of the mango trees while the massacres and pillaging continued. This attack wiped out Bogoro from the map.

The Prosecution evidence shows that no less than 200 civilians were killed. The survivors, who were too traumatised to return home, fled to neighbouring villages. Prior to the attack, Bogoro was home to about 6,000 inhabitants. Today, despite the return of certain families, the population of Bogoro has been reduced by more than half.

To conclude, Mr President, your Honours, the Prosecution will prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo jointly planned and executed the attack against Bogoro and must be declared guilty of the crimes charged against them.

Thank you.

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