Statement: 25 January 2011

Statement by ICC Prosecutor on transfer of Callixte Mbarushimana to the Hague

Statement: 25.01.2011

Statement by ICC Prosecutor on transfer of Callixte Mbarushimana to the Hague

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo issued the following statement after the transfer of Callixte Mbarushimana to the Hague

Callixte Mbarushimana was a top leader of the Rwandan armed group FDLR, the last incarnation of the group of persons who committed the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and whose activities in the DRC triggered the Congo wars.

He lived in Paris, France, contributing from afar to the group's criminal plan, while FDLR troops continued for years to spread terror in Eastern DRC, murdering, torturing and raping on a massive scale.

Now he faces prosecution for his role in those crimes.

Girls and women have borne the brunt of ruthless sexual violence in the Kivu provinces for almost a generation. For many, it is too late. But the prosecution of the FDLR's leadership will provide the opportunity to demobilise this armed group. It is a step towards justice for all victims, peace for the region, hope for the populations.

Last summer, from his home base in Paris, Callixte Mbarushimana continued to deny UN reports of FDLR involvement in brutal mass rapes, this time against hundreds of women in Walikale territory, publicly contradicting the UN Secretary-General. We will not deny justice to the hundreds of victims who suffered the horror of those attacks. We are investigating the Walikale mass rapes and are assessing whether to add them to the charges against him.

We are also investigating the leaders of the armed group who are running the operations on the ground.

Our work in the DRC continues. Bosco Ntaganda is still at large. His troops still roam the Kivus, killing, raping and terrorising civilians. His arrest should come next.

Understand this well: rape can no longer be used as a weapon of war. In the ICC era, the fate of leaders and commanders who plan or oversee campaigns of mass crimes against civilians is to face justice.

Source: Office of the Prosecutor