DR Congo leader trial for indirect crimes begins
A trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague is set Monday for former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba of Democratic Republic of Congo. This is the first military commander set on trial for indirect crimes committed by his fighters.
Bemba is charged with three counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity. The two anti-humanitarian crimes were for the alleged violence of his fighters under Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) between October 2002 and March 2003.
His troops allegedly raped, killed, and pillaged the rebel-areas they conquered to instill fright and terror and resist the coup led by the current President Francois Bozize against MLC and the then Central AFrican president Ange-Felix Patasse.
Their victims ages vary from eight to 70 years. A few of these victims would also participate in the trial while majority of their victims await to be recognized as victims.
Bemba’s defence lawyer said the MLC "fought in the uniform of the Central AFrican Republic and under its flag, it was the Central African authorities who were in charge of command and discipline."
Many had been suffering from atrocities in DR Congo. I hope justice will be soon be served so leaders would come to realize that leading is nation is not a privilege but a sworn responsibility.
Once, a leader said, "The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of the government."