DR Congo

DR Congo: ICC Prosecutor recalls ICC has jurisdiction over crimes against the civilian population in the Kivus

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ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo today expressed concern about the situation in the Kivus and recalled that his Office is closely monitoring converging information about attacks against civilian populations, forced displacement of populations, murders, rapes, pillaging and looting, reported to be taking place in the recent armed confrontations in the province of North Kivu. He calls on all parties to the conflict and regional actors, to put an end to the crimes.

The Prosecutor recalls that the ICC has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in the territory of the DRC or by Congolese nationals since 01 July 2002. "Crimes must stop. The people in the two provinces of North and South Kivu have already suffered too much. Rapes; massive displacements are serious crimes and will not go unpunished" said the Prosecutor who met on Friday with a delegation of Congolese parliamentarians. The Office of the Prosecutor has started looking into the alleged commission of such crimes having been committed in the two provinces of North and South Kivu over the last years by individuals from all groups involved in the area, whether the CNDP, the FDLR, the FARDC itself, or other locally based armed groups.

The Prosecutor again urges all actors, including regional and international organizations, to support and work together with the DRC authorities, in particular in the execution of the arrest warrant issued by the ICC against Bosco Ntaganda. He plays an active role in the current conflict in North Kivu as the chief of staff of Laurent Nkunda's Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP), and in this context, is accused of participating in the ongoing commission of crimes.

The Prosecutor will shortly announce the focus of his third investigation.