Numerous organizations have spoken out about the recent International Criminal Court decision that found Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui not guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape. They’re calling for better investigations, particularly into cases of rape and gender violence.
The decision has also sparked discussions about ending impunity. Concerns are being raised about the effect of this decision on other cases, especially the cases of thee Kenyan leaders charged with crimes against humanity, again including rape and gender violence, for their role in the post-election violence in 2007/2008.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested that Ngudjolo Chui be detailed to protect witnesses until an appeal could be filed. The judges have denied the request. Ngudjolo Chui was released from prison in The Hague on December 21, thee days after his acquittal.
Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was found not guilty by Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the use of rape as a weapon of war. Lack of evidence was a major factor in the judges’ decision. The alleged crimes took place in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo from August 2002 to May 2003.
This is the first acquittal for the International Criminal Court, and it was the first case before the court to include charges of rape and gender violence in conflict.
ICC ruling gives Uhuru and Ruto hope, The Star, 19 December 2012.
ICC rejects prosecution appeal against release of acquitted Congolese defendant, Montreal Gazette, 20 December 2012
CONGO: Women seeking justice at ICC see case dismissed, Women’s News Network, 20 December 2012.
ICC acquits Congolese militia leader over atrocities, The Guardian, 18 December 2012.