Jurisdiction in the general situation
In April 2002, the DRC ratified the Rome Statute, and in April 2004, referred the situation in its territory since 1 July 2002 to the ICC. The ICC therefore may exercise its jurisdiction over crimes listed in the Rome Statute committed on the territory of the DRC or by its nationals from 1 July 2002 onwards.
Context and alleged crimes
The ICC investigations in the DRC have focused on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed mainly in eastern DRC, in the Ituri region and the North and South Kivu Provinces, since 1 July 2002.
In opening the investigation in June 2004, the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor issued a press release acknowledging that alleged crimes were reported since the 1990's, but that the Court's jurisdiction started on 1 July 2002, and stating: "States, international organizations and non-governmental organizations have reported thousands of deaths by mass murder and summary execution in the DRC since 2002. The reports allege a pattern of rape, torture, forced displacement and the illegal use of child soldiers."
The investigation led to a number of cases, which have involved charges that include the following crimes:
war crimes: enlisting and conscripting child soldiers under the age of fifteen years and using them to participate actively in hostilities; murder and attempted murder; wilful killing; attacking civilians; rape; sexual slavery of civilians; pillaging; displacing civilians; attacking protected objects; destroying property; rape; sexual slavery; mutilation; cruel treatment; torture; destruction of property; pillaging and outrages against personal dignity; and
crimes against humanity: murder and attempted murder; torture; rape; sexual slavery; inhuman acts; persecution; forcible transfer of population, attacking a civilian population; destroying property; and pillaging.
This was the Office of the Prosecutor's first investigation, and led to its first conviction, in the case
The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo