vrijdag, september 04, 2015

Zij worden gehoord « Les femmes violées ont peu de chance d’être entendues en RD-Congo » Eerste proces sexueel geweld tegen war-lord Congo Bosco Ntaganda



Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, 

at the Press Conference on the Opening of the Trial against Bosco Ntaganda

Good morning and thank you all for coming.

Your presence here today is a testament to the importance you attach to international criminal justice and to bringing accurate information to the world about the Court's proceedings.  I thank you once again for being here, and the critical role you play in this regard. 
Tomorrow, as you know, the trial starts against the accused, Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious and powerful leader of theUnion des Patriotes congolais) and of its armed branch, the FPLC, a militia from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Indeed, Bosco Ntaganda is not only known by those who closely follow the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but also outside the region due to his reputation as a notorious person whose behaviour has raised alarm far beyond the Great lakes region.
Bosco Ntaganda is accused of a total of eighteen charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Based on the evidence, during the bloody year-long conflict in Ituri which raged between 2002 and 2003, Bosco Ntaganda along with others, allegedly planned and carried out a ruthless campaign of criminal violence. We believe he ordered his troops to attack, pillage, rape, persecute and kill civilians belonging to Lendu, Ngiti and other ethnic groups.  And we believe he recruited hundreds of children into the UPC and used them to kill and to die in the fighting; and girl soldiers to be routinely raped.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
An important goal of dispensing justice is uncovering the truth.  I know that to many, the process of justice can seem slow.  But our investigations, all our activities must be impartial and independent, and thoroughly and conscientiously done; everything we do must be strictly in accordance with the law. 
Bosco Ntaganda, as an accused, has rights under the law, including due process guarantees, which must be respected. His guilt or innocence will be decided by the Judges of the Court at the end of the trial process.  As with any trial dealing with such serious matters, his trial will no doubt take time, but the truth will be uncovered and the thousands of victims affected by these crimes will finally see justice done. 
Before we turn to questions from the floor, I would like to directly address the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the wider Great Lakes Region of Africa, and more specifically the people of Ituri.  I want to answer some of you who have asked questions about our focus on Ituri, when there are also victims of terrible crimes committed in other parts of the country, and beyond.
When my Office started investigating in Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2004, we prioritised, based on our analysis of information collected, the area where the gravest crimes had been or were still being committed, which at the time were against local populations in the district (now the Province) of Ituri.  This Court has already tried three other leaders, from several sides of the bloody conflict of 2002-3, namely Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Germain Katanga, and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui.  You might not remember now, but these people made the headlines at the time, and their trials were widely reported around the world.
I want to make it clear though that the trial which is about to start is not a trial of one or the other community.  It is not a trial about ethnicity or an ethnic group. It is about an individual, Bosco Ntaganda and how he took advantage of the ethnic tensions in Ituri for his own purposes, to gain power and wealth, and in that process committed atrocity crimes.  It is my job as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to make sure that those most responsible for such crimes are held accountable and prosecuted, no matter how powerful, and no matter which side of a conflict they may be on.
Our investigations now extend far beyond Ituri.  Tomorrow, we try Bosco Ntaganda, but Sylvestre Mudacumura must also be arrested and brought to justice, for crimes we allege he committed in the Kivus.
Sooner or later his victims too, will have justice.
I want to be clear on this. We continue to investigate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  We will not abandon the victims of atrocity crimes, not in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and not in any of the 123 countries around the world which are members of the ICC, or anywhere else we may have jurisdictsion under the Rome Statute.  Thank you and I welcome your questions.​

Source:  Office of the Prosecutor

De Morgen

Congo verbiedt film over gynaecoloog Denis Mukwege

De Democratische Republiek Congo (DRC) heeft een "strikt verbod op de vertoning" van de aan de Congolese gynaecoloog en Sacharovprijswinnaar Denis Mukwege gewijde documentaire 'L'homme qui répare les femmes. La colère d'Hippocrate' uitgevaardigd. Dat meldt de Belgische filmmaker Thierry Michel, die samen met journaliste Colette Braeckman aan de film werkte.

"Volgens de minister van Informatie (Lambert Mende Omalanga) voelen de Congolese strijdkrachten zich beledigd 'door deze documentaire, over de verkrachtingen van Congolese vrouwen en de handelingen van dokter Denis Mukwege in (Zuid-)Kivu'", aldus Michel.

De regisseur voegt daaraan toe dat nog maar onlangs de Congolese autoriteiten de film een toelating hadden gegeven, tijdens verschillende telefonische contacten met Mende.
Michel rekende erop de film volgende week te kunnen vertonen in de Congolese hoofdstad Kinshasa, en daarna in Bukavu. In die stad in het oosten van het land bevindt zich Mukweges Panziziekenhuis.

Voor de filmmaker "is het onverklaarbaar dat de film, die het werk van Mukwege toont en Congolezen aan het woord laat over de bloedbaden onder de bevolking en extreem gewelddadige verkrachtingen, niet getoond kan worden aan de Congolese bevolking, en evenmin aan de medewerkers van het Panziziekenhuis in Bukavau en alle dapperen die getuigd hebben, en dat na meer dan zes maanden vertoningen over de hele wereld en maandenlang wachten op toelating".

La Croix

Bernard Ugeux  vit depuis dix-neuf ans en RD-Congo, au cœur d’un conflit interminable. Il se bat quotidiennement pour accueillir et guérir les femmes victimes de viols, programmés par des milices armées.
À l’occasion de la sortie de son dernier livre-témoignage sur la guerre au Congo , ce Père blanc s’interroge sur la compassion qui, selon lui, va bien plus loin que l’empathie car elle engage à l’action. Elle est en ce sens une réponse aux effets déshumanisants de la guerre.
 « Je suis témoin, écrit-il encore aujourd’hui, de la libération qu’engendrent les gestes de compassion dans l’accueil des blessés et des exclus si nombreux en cette terre de violence. »

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