Former Congolese Militia Leader Roger Lumbala to Face Trial in France for Crimes Against Humanity.
In a significant development, French judges, after an extensive investigation, announced on Monday, November 6, their decision to charge and prosecute former Congolese militia leader Roger Lumbala. Lumbala, who led the RCD-N armed group during the Second Congo War, is set to stand trial for complicity in crimes against humanity committed in Ituri and North Kivu in 2002 and 2003.
This indictment follows nearly three years of investigation, during which victims, supported by NGOs, courageously provided testimony despite the challenges posed by the state of siege and Covid-related restrictions.
Lumbala’s alleged involvement in the “Erase the board” campaign, conducted by the RCD-N and its allies, including the MLC, has been under scrutiny. This operation took place in the final months of the second Congo war, aiming to seize control of territories in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Victims, who have endured the trauma for two decades, traveled to France to share their harrowing experiences of executions, rapes, and looting during the brutal campaign. The testimonies collected by French investigators, in conjunction with existing documentation such as the United Nations mapping report, which detailed numerous massacres in the DRC between 1993 and 2003, formed a crucial part of the case.
The investigation phase, initiated in early 2002, also incorporated insights from the report of the Minority Rights Group, an NGO collaborating with organizations like the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The impending trial marks a significant step towards justice for the victims and accountability for the alleged crimes committed during a tumultuous period in the DRC’s history.