International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Reactions from People in an Ituri Village to Bosco Ntaganda’s Trial

This article was prepared by our partner Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as part of an interactive radio project on justice and peace which encourages a debate on issues related to justice in the DRC. The views conveyed in this article belong to the people interviewed and do not necessarily represent the views of all the community members, or those of the victims.

The inhabitants of Lopa, where Bosco Ntaganda made his headquarters in the Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), are calling for ICC investigations of and reparations for victims in the area. The crimes allegedly committed in Lopa are not the focus of the … Continue Reading

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Q&A with Stéphane Bourgon, Lawyer Representing Bosco Ntaganda: Part II

Stéphane Bourgon is the lead lawyer for Bosco Ntaganda, a former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who is facing 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC). For the second part of his interview, he spoke to International Justice Monitor about the need for trials at the ICC to be more open to the public and Ntaganda’s struggle to have his children visit him in The Hague.

Wakabi Wairagala (WW): Let’s talk about the defense case. How many witnesses are you intending to call and what is the evidence you’re going to present?

Stéphane Bourgon (SB): We have to wait and see where the prosecution will go … Continue Reading

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Q&A with Stéphane Bourgon, Lawyer Representing Bosco Ntaganda: Part I

Stéphane Bourgon is the lead lawyer for Bosco Ntaganda, a former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who is facing 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC). For the first part of this interview, he spoke to International Justice Monitor about the challenges the defense faced in preparing for the trial and recruiting investigators in DRC and contentious issues in the prosecution case so far.

Wairagala Wakabi (WW): At the start of the trial last September, you had a lot of challenges. You had a small team that was new to the case and you had a lot of evidence to study. Have you caught up now, … Continue Reading

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Voices from the Ground: In Search of Justice in Ituri

The below transcript is from a program on Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which aired on May 26 and May 30, 2016. The program is part of the radio station’s Interactive Radio for Justice and Peace Project, which promotes discussion on critical issues around justice in DRC. This transcript has been edited to remove non-relevant information.

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Presenter: The trial of Bosco Ntaganda, former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) continues in The Hague in the Netherlands with the testimony of the victims lined up by the prosecution.

He [Ntaganda] is charged with 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. These … Continue Reading

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Between Hope and Skepticism: Congolese Await the Trial of Ntaganda

The following commentary was written by Olivia Bueno of the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), in consultation with Congolese activists. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

Today, September 2, the trial of Bosco Ntaganda began at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. This will be an important trial for the court in many ways and will be followed with particular interest both in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in the rest of the sub-region because of the high profile nature of the perpetrator and because of the extent to which his story highlights regional engagement in the DRC.

Born in … Continue Reading

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Can the Ntaganda Trial Advance Accountability for Serious Violations Against Children in Armed Conflict?

Julia Freedson is the Director of Conflict Dynamics International’s Children and Armed Conflict Accountability Initiative.  The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Conflict Dynamics International or the Open Society Justice Initiative.

 Across the globe there is a broad failure to achieve accountability for serious violations against children in armed conflict (known as “CAC accountability”). More often than not, perpetrators of serious crimes against children remain unidentified and are not brought to justice. Such crimes include recruitment and use of children as soldiers, sexual violence, killing, maiming, and abduction of children. Even in cases where accountability programs exist, they often fail to achieve tangible outcomes that benefit children and their communities, and violations continue with impunity.

The upcoming trial … Continue Reading

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Victim Participation Decision in the Ntaganda Case: How Does the System Compare to Previous Experiences?

On February 6, 2015, Trial Chamber VI at the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision on victim participation at the trial stage in the Bosco Ntaganda case (February 6 decision). During pre-trial proceedings, 1,120 victims participated, specifically in relation to the confirmation of charges. The February 6 decision considers the process for victims to apply to participate in the Ntaganda trial proceedings and how the court will treat those applications.

The system for victims to apply to participate in proceedings before the ICC (application system or application process) has been under review. In decisions issued since April 2012, various chambers introduced changes to the application system in specific cases. The application process had been burdensome on the chambers, the parties, … Continue Reading

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Will ethnic allegiances protect Bosco Ntaganda?

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists.  The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The March 2012 conviction of Thomas Lubanga for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) increased international and NGO pressure on the government of the DRC to arrest Bosco Ntaganda, who was charged alongside Lubanga for crimes committed in Ituri. Ntaganda is the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the ICC in 2006 for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in 2002-2003 in Ituri. On July 13, 2012, the ICC … Continue Reading