Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters

Making Justice Work

The Bemba Case and the ICC's Future

On March 21, 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) found Congolese rebel leader turned politician Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. After holding Bemba in detention for nearly eight years, the court determined that Bemba failed to stop his Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC) troops from committing atrocities against civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR) during an attempted coup there in 2002–3. Bemba remains in detention pending sentencing and a judgement on reparations. Bemba’s conviction marks much more than the end of a successful prosecution at the ICC. It establishes that commanders are responsible for the …

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