Trial of Congolese warlords resumes at the ICC

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The trial of two Congolese rebels, Germaine Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, resumed before Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The trial began on 24 November 2009, yet proceedings were suspended on 2 December 2009 after one of the judges was injured in a car accident. The Prosecution will continue to present its case, with testimony from witness DRC-OTP-P-0419.

The two accused are charged with seven counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity. The Prosecution alleges that Katanga and Chui are responsible for crimes committed during an attack on the village of Bogoro in DRC’s mineral-rich Ituri region, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports.

It alleges that on 24 February 2003, the accused led an attack on the village, as part of a widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population of Ituri.

The attack resulted in the large-scale killing of civilians from the Hema ethnic group, committed by the FNI and FRPI forces, largely composed of the Lendu and Ngiti groups. The attack also involved widespread sexual violence, including rape and sexual slavery.

The trial is the second before the International Criminal Court, both of which arise from the Situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo who faces charges of conscripting and using child soldiers began on 26 January 2009. The Defence case is expected to begin this week.



Sources: ICC and www.rnw.nl