Central African Republic (CAR)

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Initial appearance of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba and Fidèle Babala Wandu, 27 November 2013  (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
17 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The International Criminal Court will rule this coming Monday in the case of Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba who stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bemba, who was transferred to The Hague in 2008 was seen as the first 'big fish' to have been caught by the permanent war crimes court.

The accusations relate to crimes allegedly committed by his troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) during 2002 and 2003, when Bemba was asked by then CAR president Ange-Félix Patassé to provide support during a civil war. As commander of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), Bemba is held accountable for multiple rapes and other crimes by his troops in CAR.

IJT spoke to three experts and longtime observers of the Bemba case about the significance of the ruling for the ICC, for international justice and jurisprudence and for the victims.

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President Kenyatta and his defence team, with lawyer Steven Kay in first row, at 8 December 2014 status conference (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
24 February 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

This is the first in a series of articles delving into the challenges faced by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court. In our next issue, Tjitske Lingsma focuses on the use of intermediaries in situation countries. In the third article, we examine the growing importance of technological evidence, like phone records and computer data, to reduce the reliance on witness testimony.

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24 March 2010 by Hélène Michaud

Former Ugandan Minister for Pacification Betty Bigome is one of the main negotiators between the government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in the north of the country. She first met LRA leader Joseph Kony in 1994 and then again a decade later. She told the IJT about her encounters with one of Africa’s most brutal warlords.

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18 July 2012

Summary and link to PDF of IJT 155.