ICC finds DRC’s Bemba guilty

Jean-Pierre Bemba

Jean-Pierre Bemba

THE HAGUE. — Democratic Republic of Congo’s Jean-Pierre Bemba became the highest-ranking politician convicted by the international war crimes court on Monday, when it judged him responsible for a campaign of rape and murder in Central African Republic.

Bemba, who served as vice president from 2003 to 2006, failed to discipline or restrain his Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) soldiers as they rampaged through the neighbouring country in 2002 and 2003, the International Criminal Court’s presiding judge, Sylvia Steiner, said.

The case is the first in which the ICC has found a high official directly responsible for the crimes of his subordinates, as well as the first to focus primarily on crimes of sexual violence committed in war.

“MLC soldiers by force knowingly and intentionally invaded the bodies of the victims by penetrating the victims’ anuses, vaginas or other bodily openings with their penises,” said Steiner, reading from an unusually graphic judgment.

United Nations human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein welcomed the verdict as a step toward eradicating “the horrendous sexual crimes which have blighted the lives of so many women.”

Steiner ordered that Bemba be held in custody pending sentencing at a later date.

Originally a rebel force in Congo’s Northwest, the MLC is now the country’s second-largest opposition party, and Bemba retains a significant following in the West.

His supporters had hoped he would return home to help unblock a political stalemate.

ICC judges said Bemba had punished some low-ranking soldiers for crimes and ordered inquiries into allegations of misconduct, which included raping girls as young as 10. — Reuters

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  • John West

    Couldn’t this sorrowful matter have been equally adjudicated and disposed of by a court on the African continent?

    Has not Africa come of age to tend to such matters on her continent? How were such matters disposed of pre European? Metaphorically speaking, the child eventually comes of age to do this by him/herself, isn’t this true?

  • Doris

    If S.A.D.C Tribunal not been disbanded through a ruling that was not acceptable to the Zimbabwe Government, then, yes, it could have been handled on the African co tine t.

  • DarkChild

    Well then, why won’t we Aficans walk out as we always threaten? We’ve heard threats and urges to walk out of ICC and UN (to which our dear leader got astounding standing ovations at his last address to the AU), yet no one African country has dared to act on it! I believe the reason is we have no alternatives – we have no true institutions that can protect our own people from war crimes, civil abuses, unjust governance, combatable diseases or even hunger! A clear sign that the old guard of leaders that are ruling the continent have tremendously failed their people and reneged on their mandate!

  • De Afrique

    How any so-called African allows him or herself to be tried by these devils boggles the mind. They have not paid for worse crimes committed year after year since the 1400s AD. They have invaded, pillaged, raped, and continued to repeat similar acts without being brought to book. If anything they should be on the dock themselves for sponsoring destabilisation and mercenary activities throughout the continent. Where did Bemba and similar groups such as his get weapons from. They are the scapegoats yet there are bigger fish running the military industrial complexes which supply weapons thus accessories to the commission of these crimes. Ho do mass murderers of Africans , robbers, and conspirators have the legitimacy let alone the dignity of trying anyone for similar crimes. Roles infact have to be reversed.

  • Piankhi

    This is the same old crap. It is a disgrace to let these ** devils again judge Africans from their purch about matters in African. It is sicken to watch the same white devil who have gotten away with atrosities for the past 100+ years and now calm they are about human rights, especially the rights of African people worldwide. Were is the AU about the criminal and murderous reign of Leapold 2 and he order the murders of over 20 million Congolese over a 40 year occupation of the DRC in order to get resource mainly rubber for the automobile industry in the late 1800′s to 1900″s cutting off the limbs of men, women and children for force labor. But you here nothing of this, same as that Dog Cecil Rhodes, murder 10′s of million of African backed be the the Queen Whore of Britian and we still care what they say about indeginest Zimbabwean governing their country after the oppression of over 100 years of occupation and now they want to behave as if someone stole something from them. Now white farmer want to be paid compensation for land being taken from them and returned to indiginest Zimbabweans. Who do you exactly pay a theif for something the stole from you. You don’t!!!!!!!!!!! It is your land period. You make is work for you or you don’t. It is up to the indiginest people to succeed or fail. Any government official even having a discussion with these white devils should be tride for Treason. There are some thing you do not negoiate on. The AU should start is on criminal courts and prosecute is own African Crime alone with trying any Europeans who where complisite in the raping, robbing and murdering of Africans over the last 100 years. I am an African American, and my ancestors where kidnapped and shipped around the world only to build other western countries for free over the past 450 years. African needs to stop this madness of having dialogue with the same desendents of the murders who have screwed Africa and continue until this day. Stand up and take back what is our birth right. Plain and simple. The west cannot survive without being in African, their economies will colapes. As you see. The same way with the Chinese are doing the same thing now. Raping African countries in order to keep their economies alive. There should be no compromise with your oppressors. Let the keep the worthless money from the IMF and World Bank. They are the reason African country will never move forward. They keep them in debt. We have the richiest resources on the planet. And can create any economy we want. Bigger than the rest of the world. But they have put fear in my peoples heart. Always remember, We as African people were the first on the planet. Every other race comes thru us. Scientific fact. We are the creator of all civilizations on this planet. It is easy to gain dominance again in Africa. My people of Africa and around the world. Lets stand for each other, or we stand for nothing. What more do you have to lose to see, you are Gods.

  • GhettoCde

    As long as we continue to use a borrowed system we will never have the power to change anything without the interference of the founders of that system, which is the West and its allies. They say Africa’s problems are historical but we as Young Africa have vowed to change that historical problem into a historical success by elevating our own way of doing things, moving away from the shadow of the West, by having home grown sustanaible solutions to homegrown problems. The journey starts now