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July 17, the Day of International Criminal Justice, is the anniversary of the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Anniversaries are often cause for celebration, but the ICC—the world’s…
The International Criminal Court premises in The Hague. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
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Netherlands Returned ICC Witnesses to Democratic Republic of Congo

It was a warm, sunny Sunday, July 6, and the Netherlands was celebrating the victory of its football team in the quarter finals of the World Cup. Hardly anybody was paying attention as the Dutch authorities put three Congolese men, whose asylum…
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If leaders of the M23 rebels are allowed to reintegrate into the Congolese army, the message will be clear: rape, pillage and murder will go unpunished. On Nov. 19, armed men from a rebel group called the M23 were looking for a prominent civil…
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Despite supporting a brutal rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda is about to take a seat on the U.N. Security Council. Few countries dare challenge the Security Council the way Rwanda does; even fewer get away with it. Yet on…
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Rebel leader Thomas Lubanga may now be in jail, but Rwanda continues to support his co-accused, Bosco Ntaganda

The sentencing on Tuesday of Thomas Lubanga, a rebel leader from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was a rare victory for Congolese victims of atrocities. There have been few occasions during my 13 years of documenting abuses in Congo by Lubanga and…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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In the past week, a 30-minute video about Joseph Kony and his rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has received more than 90 million internet hits. Viewers of the video now know, if they didn’t before, that he is a wanted man with much blood on…
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As more than 50 million viewers on YouTube of the Kony 2012 viral video now know, Joseph Kony, founder and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is a wanted man with the blood of many people on his hands. We’ve spent years investigating the horrors…
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In the 1990s, the United States, though hardly perfect, did more than any other country to promote the responsibility to protect people facing mass atrocities. In Bosnia and Kosovo, though tragically not Rwanda, leaders learned that the slaughter of their…
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The  former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano will give his final briefing to the United Nations Security Council on July 15  in his role as the secretary-general's special envoy for the areas of east and central Africa affected by the Lord's…
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On June 11, 2009 the military chiefs of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic met in Kisangani, Congo, to discuss operations against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The brutal Ugandan leaders of the rebel LRA, wanted by the…
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The significance of the ICC trial of Thomas Lubanga must not be underestimated: child soldiers worldwide could benefit

Hundreds of thousands of children have fought as soldiers in recent armed conflicts, but very few have seen their commander stand trial for sending them to the front lines. Yesterday, Thomas Lubanga became the first person prosecuted before the…
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Supporters of human rights around the world watched in joy 14 years ago as apartheid ended and a new era of democratic governance began in South Africa. But many of us are now watching in dismay as the country's foreign policy often aligns with global…
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The pace of proceedings is quickening at the International Criminal Court. On July 3, Jean-Pierre Bemba, the former vice president of Congo charged with war crimes, arrived in custody in The Hague. And today, July 14, the ICC prosecutor is expected to…
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The ICC in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Introduction Over the past decade, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have endured horrific atrocities at the hands of a multitude of armed groups, foreign forces, militias and the national Congolese army. The victims are ordinary…
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"C'était beau ici," says a Congolese, on entering the little town of Nyakunde. It is easy to see how the town might indeed once have been beautiful. The town nestles amidst soft green hills. Banana trees and oil palms, acacia and eucalyptus grow in…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…