The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) are set to intensify their cooperation in an effort to address the escalating violence in the country. During his visit to the DRC, Prosecutor Karim Khan and Minister of Justice Rose Mutombo signed a new cooperation agreement, a copy of which has been obtained by RFI.
Despite nearly two decades of collaboration between the DRC and the ICC, violence has not abated and, in fact, has shown a tendency to amplify and spread to other areas. In light of this, the memorandum of understanding signed by both parties aims to bring about a change in the approaches employed thus far.
“We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results,” stated Prosecutor Karim Khan on Tuesday, June 6.
Under this agreement, the DRC commits to supporting the activities of the Office of the Prosecutor and providing all necessary facilities and conditions for their successful execution throughout the country.
One of the key objectives of this agreement is the joint mapping (DRC-ICC) of cases that could be addressed either by Congolese authorities or by the Office of the Prosecutor. After the east and central regions of the country, the west of the DRC has also been affected by violence, making this mapping exercise crucial.
Additionally, the country pledges to prioritize the prosecution of crimes against children and sexual crimes.
On the other hand, the Office of the Prosecutor promises to facilitate access to its database and the transmission of relevant documents and materials to Congolese authorities in support of national proceedings.
This enhanced cooperation between the DRC and the ICC seeks to address the persistent violence plaguing the country, emphasizing the need for a collaborative and proactive approach to achieve meaningful change and justice for the victims.