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As Ocampo Praises DRC on Bosco, Nothing on Kerim, Mai Mai or Duekoue

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 -- When outgoing International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo scheduled a press conference on Monday, many at the UN thought it would either be about the high profile issues of Libya or even Syria, or be his swansong. But no.

  Rather, Ocampo described arrest warrants for Bosco Ntaganda, until recently an officer in the Congolese Army, and for the head of the Hutu FDLR rebels. Ocampo said that the DRC government has been helping the ICC to investigate Bosco. But when?

  Inner City Press asked Ocampo about this help, given that Bosco was integrated into the DRC army and was given a free pass, including by UN officials who saw him living the relative high life in Goma.

  Ocampo then acknowledged that this was a problem, but hoped for a new approach now. Inner City Press asked him about another war lord still integrated into the Congolese Army, Peter Kerim, who kidnapped UN peacekeepers and, apparently in exchange for releasing those he did not kill, was made a colonel and put up in a hotel in Kinshasa.

  Yes, Ocampo said, there are other people we should prosecute in the Congo. But he went on to say that the Congolese authorities now have "capacity." But don't they only indict their enemies and opponents?

Inner City Press asked about the lack of accountability for the mass rapes in Walikale -- which have been compounded by a failed MONUSCO "quick impact" project exposed by Inner City Press involving gas-powered Chinese made grain mills never installed, dubbed "Meece's Mills" which so far also escape accountability.

Ocampo did not address Walikale in his response, but argued that the Mai Mai rebels support the FDLR, "there is evidence," he said. Likewise they are viewed as at time supporting the government. They are rebels for hire. Would the DRC prosecute them? Only if convenient.

Inner City Press began to ask about Cote d'Ivoire, with the failure to investigate the massacres in Duekoue in mind, even as Cote d'Ivoire forces allegedly involved may soon be deployed to Mali as part of an ECOWAS force.

But Ocampo said this press conference was only about the Congo. He will do Libya on Wednesday, then agree meet the press. Then, he said, his final appearance on June 5 after briefing the Council about Darfur. One wag said, talk about a long goodbye. But we'll be there.

Analysis: the problem with the ICC under Ocampo has been its penchant for victor's justice, for example the failure to follow through on Duekoue massacre by the victors in Cote d'Ivoire. Ocampo's Africa focus is a subset of this problem. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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