The fourth person accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Callixte Mbarushimana has been arrested in France. Mbarushima is listed as the Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, (FDLR) and is accused of six counts of war crimes and was arrested outside his home in Paris to fact charges at the International Criminal Court, (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
The warrant naming Mbarushimana was unsealed after his arrest, raising the question of how many other sealed indictments and warrants await public disclosure. The ICC press release on the arrest of Mbarushimana is available here. Bloomberg news covered the story here.
According to a fact sheet released by the ICC:
In sealed documents submitted to the ICC
judges on 20 August 2010, the Office of the
Prosecutor (OTP) presented evidence against
Mr. Callixte MBARUSHIMANA, Executive
Secretary of the FDLR, charging him with 6
counts of war crimes and 5 counts of crimes
The Court’s Pre‐Trial Chamber I issued a
sealed arrest warrant on 28 September 2010.
On 11 October 2010, the French authorities
executed the arrest warrant and arrested Mr.
Callixte MBARUSHIMANA in Paris, France.
The fact sheet describes the allegations as follows:
Mr. Callixte MBARUSHIMANA is accused
of being among the top FDLR leaders that, at
the end of 2008 and over the course of 2009,
agreed to conduct widespread and systematic
attacks against the civilian population in order
to create a humanitarian catastrophe. He is
also accused of agreeing to conduct and
personally conducting an international
campaign intended to persuade the DRC and
Rwanda Governments and the international
community that the FDLR could not be
defeated militarily and thereby to extort from
them concessions of political power for the
FDLR in Rwanda as a condition for the FDLR
to stop committing atrocities against civilians.
The OTP accuses Mr. Callixte
MBARUSHIMANA, as part of the FDLR
leadership, of having used violence against
civilians as their main bargaining tool in their
international campaign to attempt to extort
from Rwanda and the international
community political power for the FDLR.
The OTP accused Mr. Callixte
MBARUSHIMANA of being responsible for
the crimes committed by the FDLR in pursuit
of this goal as contributor to the commission
of crimes by the FDLR, a group acting with a
criminal common purpose.
As such, the OTP alleges that Mr. Callixte
MBARUSHIMANA is responsible for the war
crimes of (1) attacks against the civilian
population; (2) destruction of property; (3)
murders or willful killings; (4) rape; (5)
inhuman treatment; and (6) torture, and the
crimes against humanity of (1) murders; (2)
torture; (3) rape; (4) inhumane acts; and (5)
Mbarushmina is the first accused at the ICC to face charges for crimes alleged to have been committed in the Kivus provinces of the DRC. The three accused from the DRC who are presently at the ICC are in trial.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo former head of the Union of Congolese Patriots was brought to the court in 2006, his trial began in January 2009, with the defense case beginning in January 2010. His trial was adjourned for failure by the prosecutor to disclose the identity of an investigator, but is expected to resume shortly.
Germain Katanga and Matthieu Ngdolo Chui are also from the DRC and are being tried together. Their trial commenced on November 24, 2009. Katanga and Chui are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity including, using child soldiers, sexual slavery, attacking civilians, rape and pillaging.
Those are the only cases to come to trial in the history of the ICC. A third trial, that of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, of the Central African Republic accused of rape and murder as crimes against humanity and rape, murder and pillaging as war crimes is awaiting the end of the Lubanga trial in order to start trial.
The ICC began in 2002 when the 60th nation ratified its treaty, as of November 1, there will 114 nations that have ratified the treaty and subjected their citizens to the jurisdiction of the ICC.
Three citizens of Sudan, which is not a state’s party to the ICC have appeared before the court voluntarily to face charges. The first, Bahr Idriss Abu-Garda had his case dismissed at the confirmation of charges hearing. Two others, Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jermus are awaiting the confirmation of charges hearing after appearing voluntarily in June of 2010.
There are outstanding warrants for the arrest of Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, the president of Sudan for genocide and war crimes, Ahmed Harun, minister of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan and the leader of the Janjaweed Militia, Ali Kushayeb. The case against Al-Bashir is the most controversial, having raised concerns about the indictments of sitting heads of state. Al Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted for war crimes or crimes against humanity by an international tribunal.
There have been public indictments issued from investigations in Uganda, and the prosecutor has announced the indictments will be published in the next few months in the investigations into post-election violence in Kenya.
The prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has also said there may be investigations into crimes within the jurisdiction of the court in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, and Guinea. At the moment, the only publicly disclosed investigation are from five contiguous countries in Africa, DRC, Central African Republic, Kenya, Uganda and the Darfur region in Sudan.