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Monday, March 21, 2016

Congo's Jean-Pierre Bemba Convicted at ICC of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity

Image: File photo of Jean-Pierre Bemba at The Hague

A high-ranking Congolese politician was convicted unanimously Monday of war crimes and crimes against humanity in a landmark case at the Hague that put sexual violence in the spotlight. The charges against Jean-Pierre Bemba — a former rebel leader and vice president in the Democratic Republic of Congo — related to rapes, murders and pillaging allegedly carried out by his fighters.

Bemba was the highest-ranking official yet to be convicted by the court and showed no emotion as the unanimous verdict against him was read out Monday at the Hague.

His marathon trial — which began in November 2010 — was the ICC's first to focus on crimes committed in Central African Republic (CAR) and the first to recognize rape as as war crime

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