INTRO

 

 

10:00:00

MUSIC

OPENING AND CLOSING MUSIC

African Fables C

McLachlan, Grant (PRS/MCPS)

 

 

COMMENTARY 1

This is not Afghanistan or Somalia, its eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and these women are testifying in a landmark trial. 

 

They’re veiled for their own protection.

 

BBC desktop jukebox

 

The defendants are soldiers from the Congolese army, accused of mass rape and looting.

 

39 soldiers and officers up to the rank of Lieutenant colonel are on trial in a military court.

 

Over 1000 victims of rape and looting have been recorded.

 

Yet is justice being done?

 

10:00:41

SUBTITLES

WITNESS 68

 

 

My wish is for the perpetrator of this crime to be punished for what he did.

 

I will ask the judges to give me justice.

 

10:01:08

Gvs

 

COMMENTARY 2

An estimated 1.8 million women have been raped in their lifetime in Congo.

 

 

Goma town

Despite the laws against sexual violence being revised in 2006. Justice has never been taken seriously as a deterrent here and a culture of impunity has prevailed.

 

 

Until now…

 

10:01:29

 

UP SOT

Bonjour Laurent…

 

10:01:32

 

COMMENTARY 3

Nadine Sayiba Mbila is an associate of a law firm in the regional capital, Goma.

 

She’s one of the prosecuting lawyers in what could be an historic case.

 

10:01:44

SUBTITLES

(ASTON

NADINE SAYIBA MBILA

LAWYER)

NADINE SAYIBA MBILA

For me this process sends a very strong signal

in the fight against impunity

It’s a strong signal for the repression of mass crimes.

I’m also here to give my clients proper protection

on their journey seeking justice in Congo.

 

 

 

 

 

10:02:14

 

COMMENTARY 4

Today Nadine is going with a psychologist, Pirette Civita to Minova, the town where the Congolese army raped at least 76 women and children in November 2012.

 

The area is still heavily militarized and there are many 1000’s of disbanded militia.

 

Both the witnesses and lawyers have been threatened and intimidated.

 

10:02:37

SUBTITLES

NADINE

Every journey, every action,

constitutes a threat to us

Everything we do, this interview,

its all dangerous for us.

When I'm going there,

I’m worried about the condition of the roads

and the presence of soldiers.

We have to ensure that people

participate in this process.

In my heart, I’m anxious and stressed.

But I must go to prepare the victims.

 

10:03:08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GVs

Women in the fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTARY 5

Minova was an ordinary market town, but the local people will never forget that night when several thousand Congolese army troops arrived.

 

They’d been ordered to withdraw from Goma leaving their own families vulnerable to the invading M23 rebels.

 

Angry and frustrated the soldiers punished the townspeople.

 

This woman was raped and sodomised by 3 soldiers that night.

10:03:39

SUBTITLES

WITNESS 99

 

FACE BLURRED

I’ll never be the same again

it’s something I’ll never forget

 

 

I don’t think I’ll ever get better until I die.

 

10:03:50

 

COMMENTARY 6

She’s already testified in court and found the experience of being a witness a terrible ordeal.

 


 

10:03:57

FACE

WITNESS 99

 

BLURRED

We were all so afraid

personally, I was shaking half to death

Terrified! We’d never faced anything like that

especially those of us who are victims.

 

 

You’d be shaking so much that sometimes

you’d say anything out of panic.

 

10:04:24

 

COMMENTARY 7

Nadine and Pirette have arrived in Minova.

 

The women know how distressing it is for the rape survivors to come to court and are here to  prepare them.

 

Pirette has been working with one women who was dragged from her hut and raped by a soldier. At the time her baby was only 2 months old.

 

10:04:46

SUBTITLES

 

SUBTITLE

 

ASTON

PIRETTE CIVITA PSYCHOLOGIST

 

PIRETTE CIVITA

When I first saw her, she was scared.

She was scared and depressed.

 

She was very emotional and she was crying.

She wasn’t able to open up. 

 

After I gave her psychological counseling…

…she was willing to testify and

to take part in the judicial process.

 

10:05:17

SUBTITLES

WITNESS 68

What she tells us is very useful

the reason it’s useful is because

…by listening to her, I feel a weight has been lifted.

Everytime I see her, I feel relieved.

It helps me to forget.

 

10:05:40

 

 

 

 

 

 

COL H SHOWS US AROUND

 

 

COMMENTARY 8

Surrounding Minova, are more than 2,000 disbanded militiamen in limbo. Unpaid and with little food, they’re waiting for integration into the national army or demobilization.

 

Colonel Habarugira is one of them and commands 800 men. He brought them to join government forces in November 2012 when the army devastated Minova.

 

The local population is worried about their presence. They don’t believe the right soldiers are on trial and think the perpetrators may still be in the area. 

 

 

10:06:14

ASTON

NEHEMIE HABAJUWE BAHATI

 

President

Minova Civil Society

 

SUBTITLES

NEHEMIE HABAJUWE BAHATI

To us this process is a farce.

 

When we went to court on the first day of the trial

and the accused presented.

 

We saw totally new faces,

 

It made us question the governments intentions in arresting these people.

 

Are the soldiers who were brought before us the same ones who committed the rapes here?

 

10:06:47

 

COMMENTARY 9

Colonel Habarugira has been identified as an officer who ordered his men to rape.

 

He denied the allegations.

Yet he seemed heavily dependent on his advisers sitting beside him.

 

10:07:01

SUBTITLE

LT. COLONEL HABURIGIRA

There was no problem at all

the population received us well

Wherever I went and pitched camp…

…if I’d committed any crime

the law would catch up with me.

I would be tried and punished.

 

10:07:24

 

COMMENTARY 10

But with a weak and fragile justice system critics point to flaws that may prevent a rigorous trial.

 

 

ASTON

TIMO MULLER

10:07:31

TIMO MULLER

ENOUGH PROJECT

The prosecution doesn’t have as much jurisprudence, earlier cases to fall back on to draw experiences from.

 

 

The defense team lacks often very basic necessities. I spoke to one lawyer who complained that he couldn’t pay for a copy of a dossier which is indicative of the lack of resources.

10:07:59

 

COMMENTARY 11

Below the camp, some local people came with more accusations against Colonel Haburigira and his men.

 

10:08:06

SUBTITLE

 

(?ASTON

MARIA BALUMI

)

 

 

MARIA BALUMI

We are scared of going to the fields.

We go there in fear

because they find us in the fields and rape us.

It’s the Nyatura.

 

Over there they’re up there

they’re led by Haburigira.

 

10:08:24

 

COMMENTARY 12

Since then, Colonel Haburigira has left the transit centre, taking his men with him into the forest.

 

10:08:31

 

TIMO MULLER

 

 

No high ranking element of the Congolese army stood trial.

 

 

From the top of my head, I can already mention 2 or 3 generals who I would like to see at least stand trial but that never happened, it didn’t fly well with the political regime.

 

10:08:49

 

COMMENTARY 13

In Goma, the regional capital. It’s another day in court and Nadine is getting ready.

 

10:08:55

SUBTITLE

NADINE SAYIBA MBILA

When I put on the robes for court

…the black of my robe…

…the black that symbolises so much –

evil, injustice, theft and rape.

 

When I look at my white stock…

I see justice, I see fairness

and I see compensation.

 

 I see the glimmer, I see the light,

and the hope for these women.

 

10:09:29

SUBTITLE

WITNESS 68

Bringing them to trial

will act as a deterrent to others.

 

It wasn’t like this before

we had no one to turn to.

 

This sends a strong message

it will force them to stop.

 

10:09:49

 

COMMENTARY 14

One of the most significant charges against these soldiers is of officers failing to control their men. It’s been leveled because only one of the raped women was able to identify her assailant.

 

 

 

WITNESS 70

10:10:01

 

They said ‘can you go and pick him out?’

I went back to where they were sitting

because there were many prisoners .

I went and I said ‘that's him’,

and I touched him.

They found his name and his file

and he was the one.

 

 

 

10:10:23

 

COMMENTARY 15

This is the man she identified.

 

The reason she’s so certain is because he’s missing a finger which she noticed the night she was raped.

 

 

ASTON

2ND LT SABWE

10:10:32

LIEUTENANT SAWBE

I denied everything there and then,

 I said it wasn’t me.

 

 

People were looting and raping at the time.

She said I’d raped her, but that’s not true.

 

 

It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me, it wasn’t.

 

10:10:51

 

COMMENTARY 16

But 2nd Lt Sabwe says he’s got a cast iron alibi.

 

 

 

2ND LT SABWE

10:10:55

 

The only people who can clear my name are doctors.

 

 

They can testify that I cannot have an erection.

 

 

So how could I rape or sleep with a woman?

 

10:11:12

 

COMMENTARY 17

And he doesn’t feel he’s seen much justice.

 

 

 

2ND LT SABWE

10:11:16

 

What do I think of this court?

Well, I don’t even have a lawyer!

When I see what is happening to me,

I can’t believe it.

I didn’t rape anyone.

 

                  10:11:24

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

10:11:33

Accused arriving

COMMENTARY 18

It’s the day of the verdict

 

It’s just 5 months since this military court for war crimes started. 

 

For Nadine this will be one of the most important decisions of her career.

 

 

 

NADINE

10:11:46

 

For me, the verdict…

It’s true, I cannot force the outcome.

But I want,… I’m fighting so that these women

will get some form of justice.

That's the verdict I want.

 


 

10:12:10

 

COMMENTARY 19

When the trial started in November 40 men were accused of war crimes, including rape.

 

Since then one man has died in prison, and only 27 were detained. Five of the senior officers, accused of failing to control their troops, never appeared in court. Despite the charges against them, they were deployed on operations, still commanding men in battle.

 

10:12:47

 

COMMENTARY 20

Its time for the men to hear their fate.

 

None of the witnesses have come because, it’s too dangerous for them.

 

10:12:56

 

UP SOT VERDICT

The accused Sabwe Tchibanga (pause)

For the question of whether he is

guilty of the war crime of rape.

The answer is yes.

The question of whether he is guilty

of the war crime of pillage.

The answer is yes.

 

10:13:17

 

 

 

10:13:25

 

 

 

10:13:30

 

COMMENTARY 21

Second Lt Sabwe is one of the only two accused of rape as a war crime who’ve been found guilty.

 

UPSOT

Can we apply the Penal code?

The court says yes.

 

COMMENTARY CONT

He’s been sentenced to life imprisonment.

18 other soldiers were found guilty of looting.

 

All of the 5 senior officers were cleared.

 

10:13:46

 

COMMENTARY 22

As those found guilty are graphically stripped of their rank, whatever the flaws of this trial, the limited successes should also be acknowledged

·         It has been brought to a conclusion,

·         Many witnesses did come to testify at great risk. 

·         And there were convictions for rape as a war crime, albeit just two.

 

 

 

 

But if Congo is ever going to rid itself of the title of ‘rape capital of the world’, there needs to be a much stronger form of justice.

The cost to society for impunity is still running very high.

 

10:14:29

 

WITNESS 99

 I can never be happy again.

At this moment,

even a corpse is worth more than me

 

10:14:55

 

WITNESS 70

It’s been a very painful process,

leaving me with a wound that will never heal.

 

 

CREDITS

Unit Manager

Bella Barr

 

Researcher

Jessie Potts

 

Editor

Mike Casey

 

Camera/co-director

Patrick Wells

 

 

Additional camera

Elaisha Stokes

Daniel McCabe

 

 

 

A Film by

Fiona Lloyd-Davies

 

 

 

(logo fades up)

A Studio 9 Films Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2013 Journeyman Pictures
Journeyman Pictures Ltd. 4-6 High Street, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
Email: info@journeyman.tv

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