Yesterday, Jean-Pierre Bemba (pictured), the ex-Congolese rebel leader, was found guilty of committing war crimes before the International Criminal Court. The former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo will remain in custody until sentencing. He is expected to appeal.
Bemba was accused of failing to prevent rebels under his command from killing and raping people in the neighboring landlocked country, the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003. The ICC has found him guilty of charges including rape and murder.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa said yesterday that: “Today’s unanimous guilty verdict by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Jean-Pierre Bemba is an historic moment in the battle for justice and accountability for victims of sexual violence in the Central African Republic and around the world.”
Daoud proceeded to add that: “Not only is it the first time that the ICC has convicted someone for rape as a war crime but it is also the first ICC conviction based on command responsibility.”
For background details on this story, click below:
And click the following link to read the official press release from the ICC:
Image source: www.africaconnect.tv
www.bbc.co.uk (21st March 2016)
www.amnesty.org (21st March 2016)