the International Criminal Court And the Challenge of Peace and Justice in The Great North- Eastern Congo

by admin on April 19, 2012

Once again the President of DRCongo Kabila is being challenged in his role of commander in chief of the Congolese Army and as the chief of executive. In both he has to make a quick a well thought decision before the population of the North and South Kivu can start fleeing in the bushes again.
They are many defections happening right now in both North and South Kivu from the Rutshuru in North Kivu to Baraka in the South. According to various sources a total of 300 armed soldiers from the former Congolese armed rebel leader Bosco Ntanganda have defected. These troops were integrated in the national army and as such some were sent all over the Eastern Congo following the 2009 peace agreement reached by the Congolese government and the rebels operating in North Kivu, the Congres National pour la Defense du Peuple, CNDP,. Although integrated, most of the low rank officers didn’t want to serve the country far from their community. Like president Kabila himself, Bosco Ntanganda, was given a high rank position in the national army. But the view of the Congolese government was not shared by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor who said: ” Bosco NTAGANDA committed crimes in Ituri; …He must be arrested. Like all the other indicted criminals in Uganda and in the Sudan, he must be stopped if we want to break the system of violence. For such criminals, there must be no escape. Then peace will have a chance. Then victims will have hope”.
Since then never the Congolese government has tried to arrest Bosco although they have been an increase demand to do so by activists of Civil Society, mainly those in Eastern Congo and around the world.
But the straw that broke the camel back was the pressure puts on the president of Congo by the ICC prosecutor to hand over Bosco to the ICC. the unknown of what will happen if Bosco has been arrested should have to do with most of the root causes of the stand off.
Yesterday, April 10, according to our partner in North Kivu who are monitoring the situation on the ground, President Kabila arrived in N.Kivu to try to solve the problem. Some of the defected militaries are voluntarily back in their barracks. Again the department of defense has yet to decide if the military law on desertion will be applied or not. Those who know the weakness of the department of defense in Congo know that this is a weak Congolese institution and even arrested Congo prisons cannot contains more than 300 soldiers without them breaking out the next day.
If for the ICC prosecutor” Today, it is for the relevant authorities in the DRC, and other countries as appropriate, with the support of the international community, to arrest him and facilitate his surrender to the ICC.” yet for the government of Congo the ongoing debate between striking the balance between Peace and Justice has yet to be solved.

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