ICC finds Katanga guilty, chalking up their second conviction.


The International Criminal Court, or ICC, has found Germain Katanga, the leader of the Congo militia guilty of four counts of war crimes and one count of a crime against humanity. Katanga helped plan an attack against a strategically placed village, where numerous civilians were shot in their sleep. To say this is a crime against humanity is an understatement. Surprisingly, Germain Katanga is only the second person to ever have been convicted by the ICC since its formation. This statistic is somewhat troubling. Unfortunately there are a number of people like Katanga all around the world who are in a high position or control the military and carry great power and more often than not take advantage of that power to accomplish selfish goals. These goals can be like that of Katanga’s who attacked a village to gain a better stronghold over the area or it can be choosing to keep the city’ wealth to themselves while the rest of the population lives in poverty. Regardless of the crime these so called leaders go untried and even if they are put on trial, they managed to go unpunished. The ICC was created to solve this exact problem and yet somehow seems to be failing miserable. Additional evidence of this can be seen from the fact that Katanga was also tried for sexual crimes yet was found guilty due to insufficient evidence. The judges at trial found that women in the area who weren’t brutally killed were raped; however there seemed to be insufficient evidence to put Katanga behind the crimes. An outcome like this is ridiculous. Katanga was the leader of the militia and even if he did not directly commit a sexual crime, he is just as responsible for any crimes his soldiers committed under his watch, as any leader would be. The ICC needs to seriously step up their efforts of placing blame on the corrupt and those in charge of committing crimes against humanity and need to properly punish these people for their crimes.

Sources:

BBC.com

Congoplanet.com

One comment

  1. While it is surprising that the ICC has only convicted two people since its first case was heard in 2004, only 3 situations that the court has heard have been concluded. Possibly, the slow pace of determining these matters can be troubling. Furthermore, this conviction is sure to upset the African Union, who has especially felt targeted by the ICC, thus leading to Kenya’s proposal to withdraw from the Court’s jurisdiction. Despite that however, this conviction will likely be a deterrent factor to those similarly situated and it shows that the ICC will make the necessary convictions if enough evidence is provided. This should also motivate the international community to bring attention to the wrongdoings of so many corrupt leaders. The whole purpose of the ICC was to resolve matters that the affected country’s government was either unable or unwilling to try. Hopefully this ruling will motivate the unwilling to seek justice and give them hope that it can rightfully be attained.

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