"Although the United Nations (UN) has often been pivotal in forging the international response to serious human rights crimes in such settings, the justice gap in countries such as the Democratic Republic [of] Congo (DRC) (the focus of this study) underscores the need for more systematic UN efforts. The war in the DRC has resulted in one of the world's worst humanitarian crisis with over 3.4 million displaced persons scattered throughout the country. An estimated 3.5 million people have died as a result of the war. The armed conflict has been characterised by appalling widespread and systematic human rights violations, including mass killings, ethnic cleansing, rape and the destruction of property. The most pressing need to be addressed is the question of justice and accountability for these human rights atrocities in order to achieve a durable peace in the country and also in the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Angola and the DRC, to name just a few). In this respect, this study will address the grave human rights violations committed in the DRC and the mechanisms for dealing with them. It is particularly true in post-conflict situations where justice systems have been either partially or completely destroyed, that national courts are not capapble of arriving at a uniform stance, or willing to provide justice for atrocities in the immediate future. As a result, international justice seems to be a crucial and last resort that must continue to be fortified against efforts to undermine it. ... Chapter one will set out the content of the research, identify the problem and outline the methodology. Chapter two will discuss the state obligations in international law to prosecute gross violations of human rights and gives a summary of the human rights violations situation during the Congolese war. Chapter three will discuss the available naitonal mechanisms for accountaiblity in the DRC. It will discuss if national courts and TRC are able to deal with these atrocities committed in the DRC. Chapter four will analyse the extent to which the ICC could deal with the Congolese case and challenges. Chapter five will discuss the trends towards accountability in the DRC and the way forward. Chapter six will draw a conclusion on how to break the cycle of impunity in the DRC." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Prof. Boukongou Jean Didier and Dr. Atangcho Akonumbo at the Catholic University of Central Africa, Yaounde, Cameroon
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2004.