International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

President Kabila Calls for Ntaganda’s Arrest

On Wednesday President Kabila of the Congo has called for General Ntaganda’s arrest along with the other soldiers under his command that defected. Despite the ICC’s six year arrest warrant, Kabila wants to try the General in the Congo in Goma where he had committed many of his crimes. He states that he is not an instrument of the international community and he is doing this on behalf of the security and peace of the region.

There has been no statement from the ICC in response to trying Ntaganda in the Congo, but I’m sure there will be some conflict about the subject. Because the Congolese government has protected Ntaganda up until now, I have my doubts (and I’m sure the international community will as well) that a trial in the Congo will be a little more than a show trial. Also, there has already been threats from Ntaganda’s Tutsi support base that an arrest will upset peace agreements. With these potential problems, the ICC would probably conduct a fairer trial and make appropriate judgements. On the other hand, perhaps it might be a positive step to let the Congolese government try Ntaganda as localized justice is always more effective if conducted correctly. If the Congo conducts a successful trial, this would be a huge step for them as a country, and stopping the pattern of impunity themselves, and making the ICC truly a last resort.

Do you think that Ntaganda should be tried in the Congo? Or perhaps given the chance and then have the ICC step in if they aren’t successful?


3 responses to “President Kabila Calls for Ntaganda’s Arrest

  1. mbaglane April 13, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    The question of local courts vs The ICC is incredibly interesting. We’ve read and discussed successes of justice initiatives at the local level, but I think it is important to make sure we don’t become too reductionary. No two situations are the same and although local processes clearly offer large benefits, it certainly requires that we weigh both options. This situation is incredibly complex with discussions of peace talks being completely undermined in Congo. It is a sticky spot: either arrest him and have increased conflict or lose legitimacy by not arresting him. It is so striking how the conversation about The ICC is dominated by what cases they should take and why. I think this will always be the case for the ICC but also reflects that it is a new court. The article mentioned that the Congo originally had previously resisted calls to arrest Ntaganda, so it seems as if the government is making process. I keep deleting and retyping whether or not I think he should be tried by the icc or in the Congo. It feels like a game of minesweeper!

  2. kmumass April 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    This is pretty incredible and long overdue. Its so hard to choose b/w ICC v. local courts but I think the most justice will be given by allowing the ICC to try Ntaganda but the most reconciliation will come from the local courts. As a justice minded person I think it should be ICC but I totally understand the importance of the local courts. But I just feel like lower level offenders should be dealt w/ the local courts and the higher level offenders.

  3. kmumass April 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    should be dealt w/ by the ICC.

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