- Bogoro attack
Infobox civilian attack
title = Bogoro attack
location = Bogoro, DRC
24 February 2003
fatalities = At least 200
perps = FNI, FRPI
24 February 2003, the village of Bogoroin the Democratic Republic of the Congo(DRC) was attacked by the Nationalist and Integrationist Front(FNI) and the Front for Patriotic Resistance of Ituri(FRPI). The attackers allegedly went on an "indiscriminate killing spree",International Criminal Court ( 19 October 2007). " [http://www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/291.html Statement by Fatou Bensouda, Deputy Prosecutor, during the press conference regarding the arrest of Germain Katanga] ". Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] killing at least 200 civilians, imprisoning survivors in a room filled with corpses, and sexually enslaving women and girls. Two rebel leaders, Germain Katangaand Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, have been charged by the International Criminal Courtwith war crimes and crimes against humanity over their alleged role in planning the attack.
Bogoro is a village in
Ituri Province, in the north-east of the DRC. Between 1999 and 2003, Ituri was the scene of a violent conflict between the Lendu, Ngitiand Hema ethnic groups. The Hema-dominated Union of Congolese Patriots(UPC) seized control of Bunia, the district capital, in August 2002.
Bogoro was a strategically important town on the road between Bunia and the border with Uganda. At the time of the attack, it was the site of a UPC military camp.International Criminal Court (
7 February 2008). PDFlink| [http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/organs/otp/ICC-OTP-FS-20080207_ENG.pdf "Combined Factsheet: Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui"] . Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] The attack on Bogoro was part of a plan by Lendu and Ngiti rebels to attack predominantly Hema villages in preparation for an assault on Bunia.
24 February 2003, hundreds of FNI and FRPI fighters — including children under the age of fifteen — attacked Bogoro with semi-automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and knives. According to the ICC, they circled the village and "converged towards the centre on a killing spree", killing at least 200 civilians, imprisoning survivors in a room filled with corpses, and sexually enslaving women and girls. Some residents of the village were killed by setting their houses on fire, others were hacked to death with machetes.
Thomas Lubangaclaimed that 400 people were killed and 500 were missing after the attack.Associated Press ( 1 March 2003). " [http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1046536871665_2/?hub=World Hundreds of civilians killed in Congo clashes] ". Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] "The civilian population was very, very coldly massacred," he said.Agence France-Presse ( 1 March 2003). " [http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/AllDocsByUNID/5f56fad2b1a7dc9a49256cde0019c362 Rebels claim 300 people are massacred in northeastern DR Congo] ". Retrieved on 17 July 2008.]
The attack succeeded in pushing UPC forces out of Bogoro within a few hours and, ten days later, the Lendu and Ngiti drove the UPC from Bunia.
International Criminal Court proceedings
In March 2004, the DRC government referred the situation in the country to the
International Criminal Court(ICC).International Criminal Court ( 23 June 2004). " [http://www.icc-cpi.int/pressrelease_details&id=26&l=en.html The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opens its first investigation] ". Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] In July 2007, the Court found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that two rebel leaders, Germain Katangaand Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, bore individual criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Bogoro attack, and issued sealed warrants for their arrest.International Criminal Court ( 2 July 2007). PDFlink| [http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/cases/ICC-01-04-01-07-1_tEnglish.pdf "Warrant of arrest for Germain Katanga"] |202 KB. Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] International Criminal Court ( 6 July 2007). PDFlink| [http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/cases/ICC-01-04-02-07-1-tENG.pdf "Warrant of arrest for Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui"] |208 KB. Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] Both men were charged with six counts of war crimes (willful killing; inhuman treatment or cruel treatment; using children under the age of fifteen years to participate actively in hostilities; sexual slavery; intentionally directing attacks against civilians; and pillaging) and three counts of crimes against humanity ( murder, inhumane acts and sexual slavery). They are alleged to have ordered their fighters to "wipe out" the village of Bogoro.
Katanga, who had been held by the Congolese authorities since March 2005, was transferred to the ICC in October 2007. Ngudjolo was arrested by the Congolese authorities on
6 February 2008and surrendered to the ICC.International Criminal Court ( 7 February 2008). [http://www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/329.html "Third detainee for the International Criminal Court: Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui"] . Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] The two men will be tried jointly;International Criminal Court ( 10 March 2008). PDFlink| [http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/cases/ICC-01-04-01-07-257-ENG.pdf "Decision on the Joinder of the Cases against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui"] |527 KB. Retrieved on 17 July 2008.] the hearing to confirm the charges against them began on 27 June 2008. [International Criminal Court ( 27 June 2008). [http://www.icc-cpi.int/pressrelease_details&id=392.html "ICC Cases an opportunity for communities in Ituri to come together and move forward"] . Retrieved on 17 July 2008.]
* [http://www.icc-cpi.int/cases/RDC/c0107/c0107_doc.html The Prosecutor v Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui] — public court records relating to the ICC trial
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