ICC launches fund to assist victims of atrocities by Bemba's militia in CAR

The Hague, Netherlands (PANA) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) is to launch an assistance fund for victims of former vice president of DR Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba, following his acquittal by the ICC Appeals Chamber on 8 June on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR).  

The assistance programme will be provided in the form of physical and psychological rehabilitation, as well as material support, for the benefit of victims and their families in the situation of the CAR, the Board of the assistance fund said, according to an ICC statement on Wednesday.

Reallocating resources from available funds, the Board of the Fund said it has decided to establish a starting capital of one million euro for the Fund's assistance programme for the victims.

The Board will consider first the harms suffered by victims in the Bemba case, as well as harms from sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) arising out of the situation in CAR. The Fund will urgently engage in consultations with the CAR government authorities, civil society, international actors, and the legal representative of victims in the Bemba case, the statement said.

"As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute, the Trust Fund for Victims reiterates its unwavering commitment to respond to harms of victims and their families by providing meaningful and reparative assistance to them.

"The Trust Fund for Victims is mindful of the profound suffering of victims of the conflict in the situation of the Central African Republic, particularly in regards to victims of sexual and gender based violence, and is taking careful note of the extensive evidence of victim suffering established in the context of the Bemba case. Regardless of the judicial outcome, victims in the Bemba case are, by definition, victims of the situation in CAR."

The Trust Fund for Victims assured the victims in the Bemba case and other victims who have suffered harm in the CAR  situation saying: "You are not forgotten. The harms you have suffered are recognised and urgently call for a meaningful response."

The Board called on all States Parties to join in providing meaningful and much-needed assistance by making a voluntary contribution for the benefit of victims and their families in the CAR I situation.

The statement said the Fund intends to begin the assessment process to evaluate the possibility of launching other assistance mandate programmes, starting in the Kenya situation in which hundreds were killed or injured in violence after elections a few years ago.
-0- PANA MA 13June2018

13 juin 2018 19:20:44




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