Thursday, October 18, 2007

ICC: Surrender and Transfer of Katanga

Yesterday, the Democratic Republic of the Congo surrendered and transferred Germain Katanga, alleged commander of the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri, to the International Criminal Court (press release here; statement by the Office of the Prosecutor here). A sealed warrant for Katanga's arrest was issued on July 2 (and unsealed today). Katanga's warrant for arrest lists nine counts: three counts of crimes against humanity (murder, inhumane acts, and sexual slavery); and six counts of war crimes (wilful killing, inhuman or cruel treatment, using children under the age of fifteen years to participate actively in hostilities, sexual slavery, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities, and pillaging a town or place even when taken by assault). All charges pertain to an attack on the village of Bogoro, in the territory of Ituri, on or around February 24, 2003. Katanga is the second person in the custody of the ICC. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, who is also charged in relation to the situation in the DRC, was the first.