News / Africa

Bemba War Crimes Trial Begins Monday

Olive Lembe Kabila (C), the wife of President Joseph Kabila speaks to women during a march dubbed World March of Women in Bukavu, South Kivu Province, 17 Oct 2010.
Olive Lembe Kabila (C), the wife of President Joseph Kabila speaks to women during a march dubbed World March of Women in Bukavu, South Kivu Province, 17 Oct 2010.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Daphne Anayiotos, spokesperson for the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

A spokesperson for the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) told VOA the trial of former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba on charges of rape, murder and crimes against humanity begins Monday in the Netherlands.

Daphne Anayiotos said Bemba is being held accountable for crimes allegedly committed by rebels in neighboring Central African Republic, including rape used, she said, as a weapon.

“Jean-Pierre Bemba will be on trial starting today, Monday, on the 22nd November in the Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.”

Bemba War Crimes Trial Begins Monday
Bemba War Crimes Trial Begins Monday

Prosecutors indicted Bemba for two crimes against humanity and three war crimes allegedly committed in the Central African Republic territory during the period from 26th October 2002 to 15th March 2003.

In 2004, Central African Republic referred the alleged crimes to the ICC.

Critics have questioned the rationale behind the trial contending President Ange-Félix Patassé invited Bemba to help stave off a rebellion.

“Patassé hasn’t been charged yet and we don’t know whether he would be charged or not, but investigations in CAR are still ongoing. So, there is a chance that the prosecutor will request a warrant of arrest against Patassé in the future,” Anayiotos said.

Bemba is the only person to be indicted by the ICC in relation to the allegations.

While in Belgium in 2008, Bemba was arrested in, and transferred to the ICC in, The Hague.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the ICC, told reporters that “after Bemba's troops conquered the areas where the rebels were, they organized small groups to move from house to house, raping and pillaging, killing those who opposed them. The weapon in this case was massive. It was an army.”

ICC spokesperson Anayiotos said Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, where Bemba enjoys significant support, is anxiously waiting for the trial to begin.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid