Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times posted in his column today stories of the horrible war crimes being inflicted in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The column, available here, describes the rape of young girls, their being abducted to serve as sex slaves for the rebel armies, and the terror the civilians live in because of the ongoing civil war.
Thomas Lubanga of the DRC is currently on trial at the International Criminal Court for using child soldiers in the conflict. Charges of rape, abduction and child soldiers were considered, but the court determined the attempt to amend the case was too late and the prosecution was limited to the facts alleged at the confirmation of charges hearing. Recently the trial resumed with the defense case, and some victims who are seeking reparations testified in support of their case.
The Germain Katanga and Matthieu Ngdolo Chui case from the DRC, the second ICC case to go to trial also arose from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Katanga and Chui are charged with directing attacks on civilian targets.
The girls attacked in these cases may be eligible to seek reparations from the warlords convicted at the ICC, and funded by the Association of State’s Parties. Persons seeking reparations must make application to the court and have a right to legal counsel at court expense to pursue their claims.