Democratic Republic of Congo Presentation


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Political Reconciliation

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Democratic Republic of Congo Presentation

  2. 2. Outline• Context• Indigenous Processes• Truth Commissions• Constitutional Engineering• Prosecutions• Reparations• Conclusions
  3. 3. BBCINTRODUCTION (2011)
  4. 4. Background• Colonization and Early Independence• Belgian Congo: Map of Africa• In 1960 Belgian Congo gained its Independence and was renamed the Republic of Congo.• Joseph Kasabuvu was named President and Patrice Lumumba became Prime Minister.
  5. 5. Era of Mobutu• Mobutu organizes a coup-d-etat in 1961 and replaces Kasabuvu.• Lumumba assassinated by Katanga rebels who sought secession.• Mobutu takes advantage of political chaos and seizes power in 1965.• He renames the country Zaire.
  6. 6. Political Turmoil• Mobutu overthrown by Rwandan inspired rebellion.• Laurent Kabila announces himself President of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997.• In 1998 Kabila tells the Rwandan and Ugandan armies to leave the Eastern region of the DRC.• Rich minerals resources keep national armies within the DRC
  8. 8. Demographics of the DRC• DRC population in the region of 62 million.• A large percentage of this population based in the Northern AND Southern regions of Kivi (10%).• Over 250 ethnic groups although many share the same culture and language.• Religion plays a key role in the lives of the Congolese citizens.
  9. 9. Relationship between Hutu and Tutsi‟s in the DRC• Prior to the Rwandan Genocide both ethnicities viewed as similar within the Eastern regions of the DRC.• Both ethnicities spoke Kinyarwandan as their native dialect• Hutu extremists incite ethnic hatred among the population.
  10. 10. Hutu Extremists• The addition of one million Hutu refugees helped Congolese to distinguish between Hutu‟s and Tutsi‟s• These camps endured a great deal of violence as the Interahamwe rebels were infiltrated among the refugees.• Innocent Hutu‟s were killed which was continued within the DRC
  11. 11. Political upheaval• Government backing of Hutu rebels has brought the DRC into disrepute with Rwanda and Uganda.• Proxy Tutsi forces within the DRC have been set up to counter the treat of the Interahamwee rebels now known as the FDLR.• Civilian population have endured the consequences of the conflict
  12. 12. Community Action• The behaviour of rebel groups both Hutu and Tutsi inspired within the DRC community has caused International outrage.• Mai Mai groups been set up to defend against attacks from undisciplined rebel groups and warlords i.e. Joseph Koni, Habamungu and Nkunda.• Yet these groups have committed crimes within local communities.
  13. 13. Background International Precedent for Reconciliation• Rwanda and South Africa.• Gacaca and truth Commissions• Advantages of Rwandan System twofold:• Firstly its can speed up the trial and empty the prisons and secondly it involves the community in establishing the truth and through that, reconciliation.
  14. 14. Can Indigenous Processes work in the DRC?• Hutu and Tutsi‟s have historically lived in relative peace in the DRC.• Outside forces, rebel groups and corrupting governing institutions are preventing the opportunity for Indigenous Processes to take place.• As of today, Indigenous Processes cannot work until law and order is restored in the DRC.
  15. 15. Alternatives to Indigenous Processes• Banyamulenge Tutsi resettlement plans.• Survivors of the Gatumba Refugee Camp Massacre 2007 relocated to the United States.• Negatives of Relocation: Resettlement does not lead to reconciliation as it is not a long term option.• Integration must take precedence over Segregation.
  16. 16. TRUTH COMMISSIONSThe desire to heal wounds through openly discussing the wrongs ofthe past.
  17. 17. The Basis for truth Commission‟s in the DRC• The Global and all-inclusive agreement in Democratic Republic of Congo signed in Pretoria SA, stipulated the need for a truth commission.• Further ratified by article 156 of the provisional constitution of 2002: to promote reconciliation and national unity.• In 2004 granted the right to operate under a law ratified by Joseph Kabila.• The idea marred by a lack of Political will and co- operation (Us institute for Peace).• Political influence, lack of funding and results led to abandonment in 2007.
  18. 18. Role of DRC Truth Commission• To address wrongs from 1960 to 2003.• To access wrongs, promote healing and consolidate the national consciousness.• The Commission was made up of 21 members, led by Bishop Jean Mulemera.• Commission members religious, civil groups, scientific and eight members of representatives of the different parties affected.• Described as internally non-democratic, and as a truth Omission rather than a truth Commission (Pan African Voices for freedom and Justice).• More support for normal judicial procedure, and not as a way for interested parties to allow their henchmen to walk free.
  19. 19. Survey conducted in North Kivi, South Kivi and Ituri Region „2008‟• The most grievously affected region of the conflict suffering genocide, rape and violence.• The question should militia leaders be allowed the same rights as everyone else received only 24.3% agreement. The question should former militia leaders be allowed into the national army was higher at 37.6% in agreement (Vinck, Baldo, Pham and Shigekane 2008, p.40).• The people surveyed also returned by 92% that murder crimes should be held accountable and 70% that sexual crimes should be accounted for. These figures indicate the importance at a local level which people place on the losses which they have suffered.• A further 22.9% said the Ugandan government, while 36.4% said the Rwandan government should be accountable (Vinck, Baldo, Pham and Shigekane 2008, p.41). The main response on who should hold the perpetrators of the crimes responsible was an 80.1% figure for the government.• The International criminal court and National judicial systems received 24.2% and 22.2% respectively. The question of what to do with war criminals received a 68.9% majority in favour of punishing them.• In terms of reconciliation through direct truth Commissions some interesting data has also been collected from the people with some encouraging results. The people were asked would you forgive war criminals if it meant peace, 68% said they would. Another interesting figure was a return of 67.6% of people who said they would forgive the people who directly attacked them if it meant peace (Vinck 2008, p. 47)
  20. 20. Survey conducted in North Kivi, South Kivi and Ituri Region „2008‟• The International criminal court and National judicial systems received 24.2% and 22.2% respectively. The question of what to do with war criminals received a 68.9% majority in favour of punishing them.• In terms of reconciliation through direct truth Commissions some interesting data has also been collected from the people with some encouraging results. The people were asked would you forgive war criminals if it meant peace, 68% said they would. Another interesting figure was a return of 67.6% of people who said they would forgive the people who directly attacked them if it meant peace (Vinck 2008, p. 47)
  21. 21. The people‟s views on truth Commissions• On the question of what is justice some interesting results were also taken. The figure of 50.8% of people identified it as the establishment of the truth, 48.5% as the application of the law and 47.5% to be just and fair (Vinck 2008, p.43-45).• The results of these surveys show a sense of the realisation of the importance of reconciliation and the potential for constructive change to take place. The questionnaire also asked was it important for the people to know the truth about what happened in Eastern Congo. The answer was 88.1% said it was.• The questionnaire also asked what the preferable options for the discovery of that truth were. The results of this were 51.4% said the judicial system while 31.6% said let the people talk freely, 24.3% said have a truth/inquiry Commission, and 24.2% the medium of independent media. The last statistic of importance‟ Have you participated in a process to establish the truth at 23.1% and „would you be willing to talk about what happened to yourself or your
  22. 22. International Precedent• Successful truth Commission held in South Africa which promoted impartial healing and reconciliation.• The DRC conflict still rages so more applicable comparatives could be drawn with truth Commissions in Columbia, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka in terms of the barbarity and intensity of the conflict which occurred and who also face corruption.• Despite such encouraging figures taken from the survey of one of the most affected regions corruption and lack of political will or public knowledge of the existence of the commission were to blame for its lack of results.• The constitutional engineering process is of consideration in the re-establishment of civil society.
  23. 23. Truth Commissions and Amnesties in the DRC• While the existence of Truth Commissions play an active and important role in the process of seeking the truth, Amnesties have also been part of this process in the DRC.• The „all inclusive agreement for the peace‟ suggested the DRC did need an amnesty.• 20 armed groups in North Kivi and the South Ituri areas were granted one. This included consideration for Laurent NKunda‟s rebels, a particulary notorious group.• International examples of the granting of amnesties with varying levels of success include Chile, Columbia, East- Timor, Mozambique ,Sierra Leone, Uganda and South Africa (Pan African voices
  24. 24. CONTINUED• Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and Germain Katanga are three leaders who despite having been granted amnesties have faced prosecution by the ICC (Institute for war and Peace Reporting).Amnesties can have a reconciliatory effect when coupledsuccessfully with Truth Commissions for reintegration. Thetraditional justice system still tries to capture criminals who theICC and the DRCs government has revoked their right toamnesty despite granting it to their former commands. Onesuch example is the prosecution of Laurent Nkunda the DRCfor crimes against humanity and genocide.Thus, Truth Commissions if properly managed can provide re-integration for some but never all of those who have committedwar crimes.
  25. 25. Recommendations• The establishment of a democratically elected set of Truth Commissioners free from former military or political association with fair representation from all affected parties.• The more effective delegation of resources to the bodies which administer truth commissions. The truth commission was under resourced and the population were not aware of its operation. The increased participation of the citizens monitered by the international community.
  26. 26. Constitutional Engineering• Transforming the political landscape in the interests of reconciliation• Securing rights and democracy
  27. 27. Brief Historical Context • Failed Citizenship laws- 70s, 80, and 90‟s • Voter Registration- National Census needed (last occurred in 1981) • DRC beating world record of one “constitution per year” in its 46 years of independence. • “Constitutions without constitutionalism”. (Mangu) • Ill-designed electoral system inherited from colonisation (Kadima 2001)
  28. 28. DR Congo‟s Constitution • Current Constitution approved by 84% in Dec 2005 Referendum, came into effect Feb 2006. • Positive Elements: • 1. Never again ruled by life-long dictator. May not rule for more than two 5 year terms. • 2. Provides for independent „ democracy supporting‟ institutions to oversee and manage the electoral process.
  29. 29. Recent DevelopmentsNegative Elements:1. Many Laws that came after are contrary toConstitution.2. Exposed to political attacks despitelegitimacy.3. Party conventions do not take place.4. Party leadership elections are not held.
  30. 30. Electoral Law 2011 Parliament adopted new electoral law after 3 months debate. Government‟s proposed amendments: In districts where one list receives an absolute majorty of votes, that list would take all seats. In districts where no one list attains an absolute majority, PR retained. Favoured big political parties-reinforce ruling parties grip All rejected-Sign of times-opposition not standing for it. Compare this to previous Irish Goverments- Opposition little power.
  31. 31. Recommendations• Constitutional Commission- Review Constitution• Citizens Assembly- greater citizen participation in public affairs. Work with CPRDC (Standing Committee on Reform of Congolese Law)• Constitutional Convention- meeting of delegates to consider new constitution.• Referendum- Inform public better by setting up Congolese Referendum Commission.
  32. 32. Recommendations• Increased resources for The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUSCO)• Retain PR system.• Install Electoral Engineers to consider setting a reasonably high legal threshold to limit tendency of list PR to encourage mushrooming of political parties.• 21 political parties- need for move towards merger and grouping of political parties by ideological poles could multiply power of action.
  34. 34. Prosecutions• Principle goal is to „challenge impunity by bringing victims within the protection of the law and perpetrators under the scrutiny of the law‟ (Humphrey 2003, p.498)• Provide accountability, acknowledgement of wrongdoing, re-establishes the authority of the state, de-legitimises extremists → reconciliation• Challenges: numerous violations and perpetrators who are both Congolese and foreign; DRC lacks the specialised expertise in investigation and prosecution of main offenders
  35. 35. Current Prosecutions: National• Military Order Court 1997-2003 • 2011 Lt-Col Kibibi Mutware sentenced to 20 years in jail for • Lack of impartiality mass rape in eastern DRC • People deprived of basic • 1st conviction of a human rights commanding officer for• 12 cases in which Congolese rape courts dealt with international • 2011 trial of Gen. Jerome crimes (only 2 prior to 2003) Kakwavo for rape (OHCHR 2010) • Militia leader integrated into• 2010 trial of Bernard Kakado the army • 1st militia leader jailed for • Challenges crimes committed in Ituri • Lack of impartiality • Lack of capability and resources • Lack of independence
  36. 36. Current Prosecutions: ICC• Thomas Lubanga Dyilo • Bosco Ntaganda • Alleged founder of UPC • Alleged Deputy Chief of and FPLC General Staff of FPLC • War crimes • Alleged Chief of Staff of CNDP • War crimes• Germain Katanga and • Calliexte Mathieu Ngudjolo Mbarushimana Chui • Alleged Executive • Katanga alledged Secretary of FDLR-FCA commander of FRPI • Crimes against • Chui alleged leader of humanity and war FNI crimes • War crimes and crimes
  37. 37. Current Prosecutions: Other• Universal Jurisdiction • Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Netherlands issued warrants
  38. 38. Recommendations• Hybrid Court much like SCSL • Establishment • Through a treaty with UNSC • Negotiate Chapter VII-like powers • Operate within DRC • Funding • Paid for by countries implicated in funding the hostilities both directly and indirectly as well as any other country which wishes to contribute • The state needs to control its natural resources which should also be used to build the judicial capacity of the country • Structure • Indictments to top leaders with most responsibility • Should have at least 5 years to operate in order to get a sufficient number of perpetrators • At least ½ of staff and judges should be Congolese
  39. 39. Recommendations  Build up the capacity of the Congolese Judicial System  Investment (redirection of development aid)  Infrastructure, training, resources  Independence  Needs to be able to operate independent of politics  Focus on most responsible Net Aid in DRC and Africa50,000,000,00045,000,000,00040,000,000,00035,000,000,00030,000,000,00025,000,000,00020,000,000,00015,000,000,00010,000,000,000 5,000,000,000 0 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Congo, Dem. Rep. Net official development assistance and official aid received (current US$) Africa Net official development assistance and official aid received (current US$)
  40. 40. Reparations
  41. 41. Reparations•“the act of making amends, offeringexpiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrongor injury…•the payment of damages : indemnification;specifically : compensation in money ormaterials payable by a defeated nation fordamages to or expenditures sustained byanother nation as a result of hostilities withthe defeated nation” (Merriam-Webster, 2012)
  42. 42. Reparations•“The UN Basic Principles recognize the following fiveforms of reparations:•1) restitution: restoration of a victim’srights, property, citizenship status;•2) rehabilitation: psychological and physical support;•3) compensation;•4) satisfaction: acknowledgement ofguilt, apology, burials, construction of memorials, etc.;and•5) guarantees of non-repetition: reformation of lawsand civil and political structures that led to or fueledviolence” (UN Women and UNDP, 2010)
  43. 43. Reparations in Congo Now•“Crimes under international law, including rape and murder, continue to becommitted by the Congolese army and armed groups in the east of theDemocratic Republic of Congo following decades of similar crimes across thecountry,…” (Amnesty International, 2011)•The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office is putting in place aproject in close cooperation with UNWOMAN and with funding fromthe Government of Brazil to devise mechanisms that will enable theState to implement the recommendations. Within the project, particularattention is paid to mechanisms allowing the State to fulfil its legalobligation to financially compensate victims of sexual violencecommitted by State agents and to pilot projects on reparation to beimplemented in local communities.•The African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa ratifiedby the DRC in 2009
  44. 44. Recommended ReparationsPayment of all rape victims.Treatment of HIV, damaged internalorgans, ostracization and depression.Reparations fundRestitution – restoration of family life(Counseling), helping victims recover thejobs they have lost, the homes they havelost, the family ties they have lost.
  45. 45. Recommended Reparations•Compensation –medicines, surgeries, schooling, houses, lostincome, property damaged and looted.•Rehabilitation – medical, psychological•Satisfaction – Truth-seeking measures, publicapologies, sanctions, commemoration, tributes,measures to end continuingviolence, arrests, prosecutions, convictions, imprisonment, improvement ofresources, infrastructure, detention & courtfacilities, indemnities, commemorativemeasures (public recognition),
  46. 46. Recommended Reparations•Gaurantees of non repitition•Strengthening & reform of institutions•Peace and Security•Addressing the underlying genderdimensions & root causes of Sexual violence•Congolese Govt. & Internationalcommunity take responsibility.
  47. 47. Recommended Reparations How it fits with Reconciliation•Acknowledging victims•Creating Awarness•Reducing and destroying stigmatization•Compensating•Rehabilitating•Creating a “Never Again” attitude.•Turning something negative into something positive•Getting back on track•“Just to cool down their minds”•Recovery
  48. 48. Conclusions
  49. 49. •• Indigenous processes and truth commissions while having potential to resolve the conflict are not conducive to reconciliation in the DRC due to the nature of the conflict, corruption, and lack of political will.• Constitutional engineering and prosecutions have the ability to enhance the legitimacy of the state which can lead to eventual reconciliation and stability.• Reparations have the potential to alleviate much of the suffering if properly administered.
  50. 50. Video
  51. 51. Bibliography• BBC (2011) Size [image online], available: [accessed 5 March 2012].• Humphrey, M. (2003) International Intervention, Justice, and National Reconciliation: the Role of the ICTY and ICTR in Bosnia and Rwanda, Journal of Human Rights, 2(4), 495-505.• OHCHR (2010) Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1993-2003 UN Mapping Report• Baldo, Suliman., Pham., P., Shigekane., R., Vinck., P., (2008) „Living with Fear: A Population-Based Survey on Attidudes about Peace, Justice and Social Reconstruction in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo‟ UC Berkeley, Human right Centre.• Kahorha, Jack, Toeka Kalkala, Taylor, in Goma and Drawford, Lisa in the Hague, Congo DRC: Rebel general insists on amnesty deal Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR),. / Friday, 14 March 2008
  52. 52. •UN Women and UNDP (2010) Reparations, Development and Gender, Kampala:UN.•Merriam-Webster (2012) Reparation, Definition [online], available: [accessed 4 Mar 2012].•UNOHCHR (2010) „DRC Reparations Project‟, United Nations Human Rights [videoonline], available:[accessed 4 Mar 2012].•Panel on Remedies and Reparation for Victims of Sexual Violence in theDemocratic Republic of Congo (2011) Report of the Panel on Remedies andReparation for Victims of Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo tothe High Commissioner for Human Rights, New York: UN.•Amnesty International (2011) The Time for Justice is Now, London, AmnestyInternational Ltd.•UNOHCHR (2011) „DRC reparations for sexual violence victims‟, United NationsHuman Rights [video online], available: [accessed 5 Mar 2012].•UNOHCHR (Reparations for sexual violence survivors in DRC‟, [online], available: [accessed 10 Mar 2012].•Amnesty International (2011) DRC: Neglected Congolese victims deserve justicenow, [online], available:[accessed 11 Mar 2012].
  53. 53. • Johnson, B. „Why is there conflict between Hutu‟s and Tutsi‟s‟, available at:• Blair, D. (2008) „ Congo: Hutu‟s and Tutsi‟s will always kill each other‟, available at: www.>...>Africa and Indian Ocean> Rwanda.• Williams, S. „The Banyamulenge Tutsi: Survivors of the Gatumba Refugee Camp Massacre‟, available at:• Collins, T. (2003)„The Gacaca Tribunals in Rwanda : Reconciliation after Violent Conflict‟, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, pp. 116-123.• Mangu, A. (2003) „Constitutional democracy and constitutionalism in Africa‟• Binda, P., Yahisule, J. And Mombo, L. (2010) „Democratic Republic of Congo, Democracy and political participation: An assessment of the first steps into the 3rd Republic‟• Kidma, D. (2001) „Choosing an Electoral System: Alternatives for the post- war Democratic Republic of Congo.‟