Sequencing Peace Agreement

In the six months following the appointments, new armed groups were formed in Ituri, all claiming, like others before, that they represented marginalized communities and demanded high ranks in the army. The inability to properly disarm combatants and offer peace dividends to local communities has contributed to the emergence of new armed groups, but also to the perception that participation in armed conflicts is an effective means of achieving power. These groups continued the terror tactics used by former armed groups: killing civilians, raping women and girls, and abducting and torturing those who opposed them. The danger is that the "peace first, justice later" strategy does not mean justice in practice. Once the need to resolve a conflict is over, the attention of the international community may be releed and there will be less pressure to create credible institutions and mechanisms to deal with the past. Where political will is fading, the lack of external pressure can be fatal. In Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia and elsewhere, the "peace first, justice later" strategy has done little on the justice front. This has been a great source of frustration for the victims and does not create confidence in the post-conflict regime. Ultimately, the absence of judicial action could undermine the hard-won peace. In August 2003, President Joseph Kabila called the leaders of armed groups in Kinshasa, the capital, to discuss the establishment of an order in Ituri. On 23 June 3004, the ICC Prosecutor announced his decision to open an investigation into crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the removal of President Kabila to his office. On 11 December 2004, Kabila, despite mounting evidence of his ill-treatment, signed a decree recognizing five leaders of Ituri`s armed groups as positions of generals in the newly integrated Congolese army and 32 other militiamen as majors, lieutenant-colonels and colonels. The generals were admitted to the army in January 2005.

[49] The Congolese authorities claimed that the integration of commanders with abusive recordings was a way to remove them from Ituri and thus facilitate an end to the fighting in that country. [50] In response to fears of appointing warlords involved in these positions, Information Minister Henri Mova said, "We now need peace in our country and we have decided to appoint it because we cannot judge them before judgment." But by failing to investigate the warlords involved in rape and murder, the government reaffirmed the message that brutality would not only go unpunished, but could also be rewarded with a government post. [51] [43] United Nations General Assembly, annual report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports by the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, From the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Analytical Study on Human Rights and Justice in Transition: An Inventory of Human Rights and Transitional Justice issues in recent peace agreements), A/HRC/12/18/Add.1, 21 August 2009, www.unrol.org/files/96199_A-HRC-12-18-Add1.pdf (at the end of the 2 December 2010 session).

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