"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


more congo misery

There's a lot going on in Congo this week, none of it good:
  • Today the Congolese parliament voted to give amnesty to rebels in the eastern D.R. Congo. This is one of those impossible dilemmas. Amnesty is a condition for getting many rebel groups to stop fighting and may be the only way to move forward. But it's horribly problematic in that amnesty means that victims of their war crimes and crimes against humanity will be denied justice, which has a tendency to not work out so well. It's telling that many of the votes against the bill came from legislators from the eastern Congo. This law won't play well in Masisi. Legitimating the total impunity that exists there already is a real problem. So is figuring out how to reconstruct the security sector.
  • Derek Catsam has an interesting argument that amnesty may be the "least worst" option given the situation.
  • Nkunda's still sitting in house arrest somewhere in Rwanda, but the Rwandans and Congolese may be moving towards an agreement to transfer him to a third country for trial. Let's see: they need a semi-neutral state that won't ship Nkunda to The Hague at first opportunity. My money's on the Central African Republic.
  • Taking a page from their new friends in Kigali, the Congolese government shut down one of Radio France International's frequencies in Kinshasa.
  • And, last but not least, mother nature's wrath against the Congolese continues. The volcanic observatory in Goma predicts a major eruption in the next two months. These scientists are never wrong. If they say it's going to blow, it's going to blow. Luckily, the more likely candidate for serious destruction by lava is Mt. Nyamulagira, which sits further from urban centers than Mt. Nyiragongo, which sits about 20 kilometers from Goma and currently has low levels of lava built up in its crater. Still, they'll both erupt, and the villagers around Nyamulagira will likely lose their homes and livelihoods. And then there's the whole methane problem...



MJPC Urges the ICC to Refer Congo to the UN (Security Council) on Ntaganda

"There are serious dangers in continuing to allow Congo defy the ICC arrest warrant against Ntaganda; its sends a wrong message and could have disastrous effects in other countries"

Citing the importance for the newly-created International Criminal Court (ICC) to remain an impeccably impartial institution, the MJPC reiterated its call on the ICC to refer the DR Congo to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

The MJPC (Mobilization for Justice and Peace in the Congo) warned that in the Congo as elsewhere, the ICC as a new international instrument to promote the rule of law and ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished could quickly lose its moral value if it does not take concrete steps to start enforcing its own issued arrest warrants.

"Frankly the ICC cannot put off forever bringing the DR Congo before the Security Council for its continuing refusal to execute the outstanding ICC arrest warrant against Ntaganda," said Makuba Sekombo, Director of Community Affairs of the MJPC, an organization that strongly denounces defying ICC arrest warrants in Congo. "There are serious dangers in continuing to allow Congo defy this arrest warrant, its sends a wrong message and could have disastrous effects in other countries," added Sekombo.

Ntaganda is accused of several war crimes and crimes against humanity including: the massacres of 150 people in the town of Kiwanja in 2008 in his duties as military chief of staff of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), torturing and killing of hundreds of civilians of Lendu and Ngiti ethnicity between August 2002 and March 2003 when he was chief of military operations of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), slaughtering of at least 800 civilians on ethnic grounds at Mongbwalu, including the first priest killed in the Ituri conflict, Abbe Boniface Bwanalonga, killing of a Kenyan UN peacekeeper in January 2004 and kidnapping a Moroccan peacekeeper later that year, and recruiting child soldiers in the eastern region of Ituri. The MJPC is strongly urging the Congolese Government and MONUC to execute the arrest warrant issued by the ICC against Ntaganda.

According to Mr. Sekombo, the failure in the arrest of Bosco Ntaganda to date highlights the lack of seriousness in enforcing arrest warrants issued by the ICC and strongly urges the ICC to refer the case of Ntaganda to the UN Security Council to find solutions in accordance with Article 87, paragraph 7 of the Treaty of Rome.

The MJPC is calling for Congo to be taken to the Security Council, as it claims Kinshasa is in clear violation of the ICC treaty which Congo ratified in 2002. The ICC cannot afford to ignore its statutory responsibility to report this matter" to the Security Council," he said, adding that the Security Council would have the authority to require Congo to take all necessary corrective measures to enforce all ICC arrest warrants immediately.

An online petition has been set up asking concerned citizens around the world to demand the UN Mission in Congo known as MONUC and the Congolese Government to act decisively to enforce the ICC outstanding arrest warrants against Ntaganda. The petition can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/24459.html

Click here http://www.arrestntagandanow.org/may112009.aspx to read a full article on referring Congo to the UN Security Council if it continues to defy the execution of the Arrest Warrant of the ICC Against Ntaganda by Makuba Sekombo

About MJPC
MJPC is a non-profit organization working to add a voice in advocating for justice and peace in the DRC particulary in the east of DRC where thousands innocent civilian including children and women continue to suffer massive human rights violations while armed groups responsible for these crimes go unpunished.

For more information about the MJPC and its activities, visit http://www.mjpcongo.org . or call Makuba Sekembo @ 1 408 806 3644 or e-mail: info@mjpcongo.org . The online petition calling on the Congolese Government and MONUC to act decisively in enforcing the outstanding ICC arrest warrant against Bosco Ntaganda can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/24459.html

Saturday, May 16, 2009 5:41:00 PM


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