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126- Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (DRC vs Rwanda)

On May 28th, 2002,the Democratic Republic of Congo filed an Application instituting proceedings against Rwanda before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) because of ”massive, serious and flagrant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law”.

The Congo based the jurisdiction of the Court on various international instruments, namely:

  • The 1979 Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
  • The 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
  • The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
  • The Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO);
  • The Constitution of UNESCO,
  • The 1984 New York Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and;
  • The 1971 Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation

The DRC also submitted a request for the indication of provisional measures. In its order of July 10th, 2002. the Court rejected that request, finding that it had no prima facie jurisdiction in the case, which is a prerequisite to indicate such measures.

Order of 10-07-2002.pdf

The ICJ ruled on the merits of the case in its judgment of February 3rd,2006. It concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to hear this case based on the Conventions cited the Congo because:

  1. In some cases, the Congo was not a party to the instruments (Convention against torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment);
  2. It could also be that the country had made reservations when signing various conventions (Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination);
  3. Finally, in some other cases, all the prerequisites for the referral to the Court had not been met (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Constitution of the WHO, the Constitution of UNESCO and the Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation).
Judgment of 03-02-2006.pdf

This summary of the facts of this case and the proceedings is only proposed for informational purposes, does not engage Dome in any way and cannot replace the careful reading of the judgments and orders of the case.