Saturday, August 25, 2012

ICC: COMPLAINT AGAINST KAGAME ET AL PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 15 OF THE STATUTE OF ROME


INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
IN THE MATTER OF PAUL KAGAME ET AL
COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 15OF THE STATUTE OF
ROME

Whereas Article 15 (1) of the Statute of Rome states that “The Prosecutor may initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of information oncrimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.” And,

Whereas Article 53 of the Statute requires the Prosecutor to “initiate aninvestigation unless he or she determines there is no reasonable basis to proceed…” and

Whereas it is a matter of public record that the Security Council published on June 27, 2012 a Letter dated 26 June 2012 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to the resolution 1533 (2004)concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo addressed to the President of the Security Council and its associated Addendum (the Addendum) and,

Whereas the said Addendum presents findings of the Group of Experts that provide a reasonable basis to conclude that crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court have been and are being committed by Paul Kagame and others under his command and control, and

Whereas the Complainants, the United Forces For Democracy in Rwanda(FDU), the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), le Reseau International desFemmes pour la Democratie et la Paix (RIFDP), represent significant elements of the civil society in Rwanda and L’Association Pour la Promotion de la Democratie et du Developpement de la RDC (APRODEC)and Congonova, represent significant elements of the civil society of the Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC)

And Remembering that the States Parties to the Statute stated in thePreamble to the Statute that they are “Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes”;

The Complainants hereby draw the attention of the Prosecutor to the Addendum that sets out the facts that the Rwandan authorities led by President Paul Kagame, and including his minister of defence, General James Kaberebe, the Rwandan Defence Forces Chief of Staff, General Charles Kayonga and the Rwandan Defence Permanent Secretary, Brigadier General Jack Nziza have

1. Provided direct military assistance to the M23 rebellion inside the DRC including the use of children under the age of 18 as M23 combatants as described at paragraph 19 of the Addendum which constitutes a war crime under Article 8(b)(xxvi) and 8(e)(vii) of the Statute,
2. Forced former enemy combatants of the Democratic Forces For the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to serve with units sent by the Rwanda Defence Forces to reinforce M23 which constitutes a war crime under Article 8(2)(a)(v) that forbids compelling a prisoner of war or other  protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power as described in paragraphs 20 and 21 of the addendum,

and note President Paul Kagame’s criminal responsibility, and that of the other named officers under his authority, for these crimes under Article 28 of the Statute regarding their superior responsibility. The Complainants further recall the DRC Final Report (the Mapping Report) of June 2010 made to the Secretary-General of the United Nations by Madame Navanethem Pillay, United Nations Commissioner For Human Rights and that, among other crimes therein set out it is stated at paragraphs 20-33 that the armed forces of Rwanda and of the DRC committed genocide against the Hutu ethnic group in the DRC (Zaire). During the entire period of time in which these crimes were committed Paul Kagame had command responsibility over the Rwandan armed forces.

The Complainants further recall the Report made by Robert Gersony to the UNHCR on October 11, 1994 a written summary of which is attached, in which Mr. Gersony stated that Rwanda Patriotic Army forces under the command of Major General Paul Kagame committed systematic and sustained killings of Hutu civilians in Rwanda between April and July 1994 and recall the report made by ICTR Lead Investigator, Michael Hourigan to the UN Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS) of August 1, 1997 (Hourigan Report), echoing the report he gave to ICTR prosecutor Louise Arbour, that Paul Kagame was responsible for the shooting down of the presidential plane carrying President Habyarimana of Rwanda and President Ntaryamira, President of Burundi and others. While neither the Mapping Report nor the Gersony Report nor the Hourigan Report provide evidence of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC they do provide clear evidence of a continuing and systematic pattern of criminal conduct on the part of Paul Kagame in the great lakes region which goes to the strength of the case against him regarding the crimes for which he is responsible within the jurisdiction of the ICC.

The Complainants also note that the Gersony Report and Hourigan Report were, among other evidence of crimes against humanity committed by Paul Kagame, in the possession of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTR) for Rwanda and are public documents made exhibits in trials at the ICTR and yet the various Prosecutors of the ICTR refused to prosecute Paul Kagame for his crimes thereby providing him with complete immunity from prosecution and a resulting sense of impunity and this impunity thereby encouraged him to commit further crimes in the DRC without fear of punishment.

The Complainants therefore request the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to act on the information provided herein and to commence an investigation as requested with a view to laying charges against Paul Kagame and any other person or persons complicit in these crimes and to confirm to the world that no one has impunity for crimes committed within the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Submitted at the The Hague, this 17th Day of August, 2012

Christopher C. Black Barrister Counsel to the Complainants
The Hague,
The Netherlands

Source: SCRIB

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