"In 2009, an innovative project began in South Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo to try and bring the perpetrators of sexual crimes to book and so help to combat the prevailing culture of impunity. By supporting mobile gender courts that specifically target sexual crimes, the project sought to bring some measure of justice to communities that had long since given up on the rule of law – and give survivors hope that their attackers would pay for their crimes".
"The American Bar Association/Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ROLI) is currently co-ordinating the operation of the gender mobile courts, which operate within the structure of the DRC’s justice system and travel to remote areas of South Kivu, where they afford victims of gender-based violence and other crimes a forum in which to hold their assailants – both military and civilian – accountable for abuses".
"In its first 20 months of operation (from October 2009 through August 2011), the mobile gender courts held 14 sessions – hearing 248 cases, with 140 convictions for rape, 49 convictions for other offenses (mostly murder and property crimes) and 44 acquittals. The mobile court also heard the Fizi case, which resulted in the conviction of Lt. Colonel Kibibi for crimes against humanity for his role in the mass rape of over 60 women in the town of Fizi on New Year’s Day 2011".
As Judge Mary McGowan Davis says: "The gender justice mobile courts have unquestionably delivered on their undertaking to bring justice to remote reaches of eastern Congo. Their work is notable for concrete, tangible results that demonstrate to the host communities that actions have consequences and that crime will be punished".
More info cand be found at: http://bit.ly/TthnX2
And the evaluation of the project at: http://bit.ly/V5BGqQ