DRC: For the First Time, ICC Awards Symbolic Individual Reparations

FIDH and its member organisations in the DRC [1] welcome the decision taken today by the ICC to awarding individual reparation measures to victims, at their request, for the first time. This decision by Trial Chamber II was delivered in the case against Germain Katanga, who was found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bogoro in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 23 February in 2003. This is the second decision by the ICC concerning reparations, with the first decision only concerning collective reparation measures.

(Kinshasa, The Hague) Today, the ICC has awarded individual and collective reparations measures to victims in the case against Germain KATANGA. The ICC has awarded victims with a symbolic individual compensation measure, unique in the history of the Court, of 250 USD for each victim recognising that “the symbolic amount does not compensate the injuries suffered in their entirety, but is to alleviate the harm suffered by victims”.

The total amount of the physical, material, and psychological harm suffered by victims, had been evaluated by the Court and set at a total of 3.752.620 USD.

The ICC also awarded collective reparation measures, as also requested by the legal representative for victims, namely a programme to support housing, income generation, education aid, and psychological support.

“This decision is important. It recognises for the first time both the individual and collective harm suffered by the victims and their right to reparations. We now call on the Trust Fund for Victims and to the ICC to implement the plan as soon as possible so that the victims finally receive the remedies that are owed to them.”

Dismas Kitenge, President of the Groupe Lotus

The ICC recalled that the reparation order was notwithstanding the obligation of the DRC to award reparations to the victims as well and requested the State’s cooperation together with the Trust Fund for Victims in this respect.

“It is urgent that the DRC finally listens to the requests for reparation by the victims. The government must abolish the payments of “proportional rights” as a prerequisite for receiving compensation… It is time for a comprehensive reparations policy to be implemented by the Congolese government for the victims of the conflict.”

Jean-Claude Katende, President of ASADHO
Germain Katanga was the presumed commander of the Patriotic Resistance Force (FRPI) in Ituri. On 23 May 2014 he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for contributing to crimes against humanity and war crimes, committed during the attack of the village of Bogoroin Ituri, on 24 February 2003.

[1] the Ligue des Electeurs, le Groupe lotus et ASADHO

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