Support for the pursuit of gender justice from UN Women
UN Women will continue to support the pursuit of gender justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure that the Rome Statute is used to bring perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence to justice and deter future crimes.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka made this known on Tuesday in New York on the conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba by the ICC.
The executive director said the judgment should be followed by a comprehensive reparations decision, which supports the survivors of sexual violence in the Central African Republic in their efforts to rebuild their lives and to end gender inequality in their communities.
She said the conviction also sends a clear message that the international community will hold accountable those who fail to exercise their responsibilities as commanders to prevent and punish the use of sexual and gender-based crimes as weapons of war.
Mlambo-Ngcuka also extended UN Women’s appreciation of the brave survivors of sexual violence for their participation in the trial and their testimony against Bemba.
“UN Women acknowledge the commitment of Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her Office to end impunity for sexual violence in conflict.
“The conviction is also notable because it is the first time that the ICC has found a defendant guilty of crimes committed by his subordinates, based on Bemba’s command responsibility for his troops.
“The trial included an unprecedented number of victims as more than 5,000 victims were granted the right to participate in the proceedings.
“UN Women welcomes the landmark conviction of Bemba by the ICC, for his failure to prevent and punish the rape, murder and pillage committed by his troops in the CAR in 2002 and 2003,” she said.
Bemba was the commander-in-chief of the former Congolese rebel group, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, as well as vice president of the country during the 2003-2006 transition.
He was sentenced on Monday in Geneva for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
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