ICC - Parliamentarians from Orientale Province, DRC, Participate in ICC Outreach Session
Parliamentarians from Orientale Province, DRC, Participate in ICC Outreach Session
Following an initial meeting held in December 2007 and as part of its outreach activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a representative of the International Criminal Court (ICC) met with parliamentarians from Orientale Province at the seat of the Provincial Assembly in Kisangani on Tuesday, 30 September 2008. The meeting brought together over sixty parliamentarians, headed by the Assembly’s rapporteur, from the various political parties and representing the territories and districts of the province, including Ituri District. They received information about developments in the various cases currently before the ICC and about the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In his presentation, the representative of the Outreach Unit explained the reasons for maintaining the stay in the Thomas Lubanga trial, the decision on the confirmation of the charges against Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and Germain Katanga, and provided an update on the Bosco Ntaganda case.
The parliamentarians voiced their concerns in relation to the acts of violence committed in the province’s Dungu Territory by the Lord’s Resistance Army, some of whose leaders are wanted under several arrest warrants issued by the Court for crimes alleged to have been committed in Uganda. They also referred to the fate of the foreign military leaders whose armies had fought in Kisangani in the past. Their main concerns included the armed clashes which had recently taken place in North and South Kivu, and the warrants of arrest issued by the Court for crimes committed in Ituri and their implications for the process of demobilising certain armed groups and militias and for establishing peace.
In responding to the concerns of the Province’s parliamentarians, the representative of the Outreach Unit explained the Court’s temporal jurisdiction (meaning that it cannot prosecute crimes committed before 1 July 2002) and the principle of complementarity, which means that it has no authority to replace national courts, which retain primary responsibility for prosecuting criminals in the DRC. He recalled, however, that investigations were underway in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and explained the process for executing Court arrest warrants and its consequences.
Lastly, the parliamentarians were asked to reflect collectively on the relationship between justice and peace, in particular, in view of the threats by certain warlords to take entire populations hostage and to commit new crimes if they are brought before a national or international court.
For more information, please contact Patrick Tshibuyi, Information and Outreach Assistant, at + 243 99 80 11 416 or by e-mail at: [email protected]