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DRC: Latest Statement from the ICC Prosecutor
11 Nov 2011
Please find below the latest statement issued by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) relating to the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Please note that this document has been produced by the ICC-OTP. The CICC Secretariat distributes this as part of its mandate to keep member organizations and individuals informed about developments related to the ICC. The document does not reflect the views of the CICC as a whole or its individual members.
Please also take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
I. ICC OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTOR STATEMENT
1. "ICC Prosecutor: we are closely monitoring the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," ICC-OTP Statement, 11 November 2011, http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/01965B8F-E6D6-4792-993E-8A7E7DB77B18.htm
"ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is monitoring "with the utmost vigilance" the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where investigations have been ongoing since June 2003.
"The use of violence will not be tolerated," he said. "My Office is gathering and carefully reviewing converging reports of both verbal and physical violence arising out of the electoral campaign for the presidential and parliamentary elections on 28 November."
The Prosecutor called upon all parties involved in the electoral process not to resort to violence, noting that the ICC has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of serious crimes committed either in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or by Congolese nationals since 1 July 2002.
"We are keeping watch to ensure that the process does not lead to acts of violence or attacks against the civilian population. We are paying particular attention to reports of inciting hatred, exclusion and physical violence by various political figures in Kinshasa and across the entire country," he said from The Hague. "Electoral violence can result in the commission of crimes falling within our jurisdiction. No one should doubt our resolve to prevent crimes or, if need be, prosecute individuals, as we are doing in Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire."
"As the Congolese Minister of Justice, Mr Luzolo Bambi Lessa, said on Wednesday, my Office is in a position to document any crime within its jurisdiction and, in coordination with domestic courts, will take all necessary action to investigate such crimes."
The Prosecutor reiterated that persons alleged to have committed serious crimes, such as Bosco Ntaganda, for whom the Court has issued an arrest warrant, must be arrested and put on trial.
"The electoral process should not feed a sense of impunity on the part of those responsible for such crimes. On the contrary, it should strengthen the rule of law and the fight against impunity."
Source: Office of the Prosecutor"
CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an
independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International
Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization.
The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the
ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome
Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries
and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as
they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or
promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations
before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide
legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local
and other organizations in the course of their efforts. Communications to the
ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM the Hague The Netherlands