The President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, will begin tomorrow, 10 December, 2009, a visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he will be meeting with senior government representatives, members of the local civil society, and affected communities in Ituri, until 15 December, 2009. This first visit of the ICC President to the DRC will provide an opportunity to strengthen the country's co-operation and to enhance local awareness in order to fulfil the Court's mandate in the DRC.
In the country's capital, Kinshasa, President Song will meet with the Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the DRC and with members of the diplomatic community.
President Song will address the members of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) during its conference on Justice and peace in the Great Lakes ' region and Central Africa. The focus of the conference will be on the impact of justice in the Great Lakes and Central Africa, including the DRC and on security and post-conflict recovery, with particular attention on the protection of women and children. He will also participate in an outreach event of the Court with Congolese academic and judicial communities.
The President will then travel to Bunia, the capital of the Ituri District, in eastern Congo, where he will meet the members of communities affected by the crimes currently under investigation before the ICC and with local authorities, members of local tribunals, local human rights organisations, and journalists.
His journey will conclude in the town of Fataki, 85 km north of Bunia, one of the sites of conflict in 2003, for a town-hall style meeting with the general public, including local authorities, religious and traditional leaders, teachers, women's groups representatives and local media.
The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was referred to the Court by the Government of the DRC on 3 March, 2004. The case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is the second case in the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after that of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, whose trial commenced on 26 January, 2009, before Trial Chamber I. A fourth warrant of arrest was issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I on 22 August, 2006, against Bosco Ntaganda, who remains at large.
For further information please contact Ms Sonia Robla, Head of Public Information and Documentation Section at +31 (0)70 515-8089 or +31 (0) 6 46 44 87 26 or at email@example.com.