Lubanga Found Guilty: Opinion Divided in Congo
Published: 20 Mar 2012
By: Olivia Bueno
The run up to the International Criminal Court (ICC) verdict in Ituri was marked by fear and anticipation, highlighted by rumors that the judgment would be favorable to Thomas Lubanga. Since the announcement of the verdict last week, there have been no major security incidents, but the mood remains tense and a serious national debate is developing about the Court. The strands of this conversation are varied. Those who support Lubanga view the verdict as unjust and are attacking the Court; others, particularly victims, express qualified satisfaction but express concern about the future. In the national media, a debate is ongoing about questions of sovereignty, Congo’s role in fighting impunity, and the appropriateness of the Court’s approach. Meanwhile, Iturians remain concerned about how this debate will affect security, and victims and witnesses feel particularly vulnerable.