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DRC Requests ICC to Probe Crimes Committed by Armed Groups in The Kivus

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Rose Mutombo, DRC’s Minister of State for Justice, has appealed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to conduct investigations into crimes committed by almost 100 armed groups operating in the Eastern region.

The appeal was made on Tuesday during the 21st Assembly of States that are signatory to the Rome Statute, which is taking place in The Hague, the Netherlands.

According to Minister Mutombo, this investigation will allow the ICC Court to realize the human disaster caused by the criminal terrorist groups of the M23 and the ADF to the populations living in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.

Rose Mutombo told the Assembly that there are various massacres in the eastern region ochestrated by local and foreign armed groups. She accused the M23 armed group of responsiblity for the Kishishe massacre which claimed nearly 272 victims.

“While we are in this room, part of the eastern part of the territory of the DRC, my country, in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, is the scene of crimes against humanity, crimes of war, crimes of genocide and crimes of aggression which cause thousands of deaths as well as cases of sexual violence against women and girls in particular, not to mention the massive displacement of populations. Just last week, M23 terrorists carried out massacres against more than a hundred civilians, in Kishishe village, Rutshuru territory,” she said.

The Minister believes that the Prosecutor at the ICC will not hesitate to seize all these perpetrators, co-perpetrators and accomplices of the serious crimes committed in the DRC so that their behavior which undermines the collective memory of humanity is repressed.

On March 30, 2002, the DRC ratified the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, the purpose of which is to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and crimes of aggression.

However, Rwanda is not signatory to the Rome Statute.