The International Criminal Court recognises rape as a war crime
FOR the first time since it started to function in 2002, the International Criminal Court at The Hague has passed a guilty verdict on a warlord for perpetrating, among other things, rape as an act of war. It is also the first time that the court has secured a conviction for “command responsibility”, meaning that a commander can be found guilty even if he did not himself take direct part in such crimes as rape, murder and pillage but allowed them to be committed.
Jean-Pierre Bemba (imagined), the leader of the Development for the Freedom of the Congo—and a previous VP of the Majority rule Republic of Congo—was discovered liable of wrongdoings against mankind, including assault and loot. This occurred when Mr Bemba’s volunteer army, said to be around 1,500-in number, was sent over the fringe to the Focal African Republic (Auto) amid a time of turmoil in 2002 and 2003, when many regular people were butchered. Sentencing has yet to be done.
Though most global human-rights campaigners, including African ones, have respected the decision, the African Union and most African governments have so far been more hesitant. The court has confronted a developing tune of allegations over the mainland that it is one-sided against Africans, since so far every one of those it has discovered liable have been African. Mr Bemba was captured in Belgium in 2008 and sent to The Hague, where the full procedures of a trial started in 2010.
In any case, it was an African government—the one that then administered the Auto—that alluded the wrongdoings claimed to have been conferred by Mr Bemba and his men to the court in 2004. In reality, however the initial nine “circumstances” (as the court calls its arrangements of cases) to be put under the watchful eye of the court have all been African, six were conveyed to it by the applicable African governments themselves; two were alluded to it by the UN Security Gathering, and one to do with post-decision brutality in Kenya was taken to it after intercession by Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian who already headed the UN.
Regardless, the ICC rejects the charge that it is innately hostile to African or a device of the West. Its boss prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and its senior trial legal counselor, Jean-Jacques Badibanga, are from the Gambia and the Law based Republic of Congo separately. The judges who have discovered Mr Bemba liable, all ladies, are from Brazil, Kenya and Japan.
The legitimate illustrative of the casualties, Marie-Edith Douzima-Lawson, who hails from the Auto, has enthusiastically clarified the way of the charges against Mr Bemba and his men. More than 5,200 casualties were approved by the court to affirm in the trial that Mr Bemba and his men had sexually struck them or ravaged their property in a frenzy of homicide and pandemonium. “Most assaults, and also the plundering, were executed on the whole in broad daylight, now and then in the vicinity of the casualties’ relatives. This practice was planned to threaten the tranquil populace of the Auto,” said Mrs Douzima-Lawson. “The truths have demonstrated that assault was orderly, as was loot, and was executed humiliatingly, anyplace, at whatever time, by different attackers.