Congo cannibalism claim provides first challenge

The first case likely to be heard by the international criminal court involves allegations of cannibalism.

A UN investigation found evidence that the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), which controls much of the north of the country, had massacred and eaten civilians. It was referred to the international criminal court by Congo’s government and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), a French non-governmental organisation. A second complaint deals with the MLC’s incursion into the Central African Republic last year, at the invitation of its besieged president, Ange-Felix Patasse. The FIDH has accused both Mr Patasse and Jean-Pierre Bemba, the leader of the MLC, of sponsoring war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the massacre of civilians outside the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui. The MLC’s alleged crimes in Ituri province were reported by UN investigators in language framed to suggest genocide: in an operation codenamed “Clean the Slate”, its fighters swept through the province, murdering, raping and putting more than 150,000 people to flight. Full Story

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