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Democratic Republic of Congo
The ICC opened its investigation in the situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2004. Seven arrest warrants have been issued for war crimes and crimes against humanity against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Germain Katanga, Matthieu Ngudjolo Chui, Bosco Ntaganda, Sylvestre Mudacumura and Callixte Mbarushimana.

The situation in the DRC was previously assigned to Pre-Trial Chamber I, composed of Presiding Judge Sylvia Steiner, Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, and Judge Cuno Tarfusser. The situation is currently assigned to Pre-Trial Chamber II, composed of Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, and Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova.

For more information:
• Visit our Lubanga and Katanga/Ngudjolo trial webpages
Sign up for email updates and trial summaries (and follow us on Twitter and Facebook).
Archive of trial summaries.

DRC Investigation
The government of the DRC formally referred the situation on 19 April 2004, requesting that the Prosecutor investigate potential crimes under the Court's jurisdiction were committed anywhere in the territory of the DRC since the entry into force of the Rome Statute, on 1 July 2002.

On 23 June 2004, after a thorough analysis of the situation in the DRC, especially in the eastern region of Ituri, the Prosecutor announced his decision to open the first investigation of the ICC.

Lubanga case
On 14 March 2012, in the first trial at the ICC, Trial Chamber (TC) I convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo—leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and the commander-in-chief of its military wing, the Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (FPLC)—of the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities in the DRC between September 2002 and August 2003. He was later sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

He was the first person charged in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) situation as well as the Court’s first detainee.

The trial, which opened on 26 January 2009, marked a turning point for the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty, which entered into force only in 2002. The Lubanga proceedings are the first test of formal victim participation in an international criminal trial. The case also highlights the gravity of recruitment, enlistment and conscription of child soldiers.

See our Lubanga webpage for more information.

Katanga-Ngudjolo Chui case
The trial against Congolese militia leaders Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was the ICC's second.

They were accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the village of Bogoro in the Ituri district of eastern DRC from January to March 2003.

They were charged with murder or willful killing, inhumane acts, sexual slavery, rape, cruel or inhuman treatment, using children to participate actively in hostilities, outrages upon personal dignity, intentional attack against the civilian population, pillaging and destruction of property.

Their trial commenced on 24 November 2009.

However, on 21 November 2012, Trial Chamber II decided to separate the joint case against the two suspects, as they are considering a change to Katanga’s mode of legal responsibility for the alleged crimes.

On 18 December 2012, TC II found Ngudjolo Chui not guilty of the alleged crimes (see below for further information).

On 7 March 2014, TC II found Katanga guilty of the crime against humanity of murder and the war crimes of willful killing, intentional attack against the civilian population, pillaging and destruction of property, He was acquitted of charges of sexual slavery and rape as well as using child soldiers. (See below for further information).

See our ICC's website.
Conference Reports and Declarations
ICC Statements and Reports
Author Date and Title
23 Dec 2011
Callixte Mbarushimana is released from the ICC custody
16 Aug 2011
ICC’s confirmation of charges hearing in the Mbarushimana case has been postponed to 16 September
12 Aug 2011
Updated Practical information for media on the opening of the confirmation of charges hearings in the case against Callixte Mbarushimana
31 May 2011
Mbarushimana case: Hearing on the confirmation of charges now scheduled to commence on 17 August 2011
20 May 2011
Trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo: The presentation of evidence stage is closed
07 June 2010
The Registrar of the ICC and delegates from States Parties to the Rome Statute face to face with the challenges of the Court on the ground
04 June 2010
A delegation from the ICC Committee on Budget and Finance meets affected communities in Ituri (DRC)
NGO Letters, Papers, Reports, and Statements
Author Date and Title
30 July 2015
The many faces of international justice (1/4): DR Congo
Human Rights Watch
22 July 2015
Kenneth Roth Remarks during News Conference in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
26 June 2015
At ICTJ Conference, Congolese Magistrates Discuss Strategy for Prosecuting International Crimesq
04 Mar 2015
Yesterday's complete policy on reparations gives important guidance to future Trial Chambers
27 Feb 2015
Court demonstrates professionalism and maturity in Chui Appeal
18 Feb 2015
The Trial of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui: The Appeal Judgment
08 July 2014
Netherlands: Reconsider ICC Witness Deportation
NGO Media Statements
Author Date and Title
28 Aug 2015
DRC: Congolese rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity
Human Rights Watch
28 Aug 2015
ICC: Long-Awaited Trial Begins for DR Congo Crimes
27 Aug 2015
Trial of Congolese militia leader to open at ICC
Human Rights Watch
11 Aug 2015
DR Congo: Ethnic Militias Attack Civilians in Katanga
17 July 2015
On International Justice Day, a Reflection on How to Capitalize on Small Gains in Prosecuting International Crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Human Rights Watch
13 July 2015
DR Congo: Arrest Rebel Leader Wanted by ICC
02 July 2015
Trial of Congolese militia leader to open at ICC