The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) takes great pleasure in announcing that in 2021, the Government of Germany has pledged a voluntary contribution of €110,000 to the TFV this year. This contribution demonstrates Germany’s strong support and commitment to the reparative justice function of the Rome Statute. It is earmarked to the TFV’s reparations mandate, in particular in Al Mahdi case to support the collective reparation measures aiming at the rehabilitation and maintenance of protected buildings, in close coordination with UNESCO.
Speaking on Germany’s unwavering support to the Rome Statute and the Trust Fund, H.E. Mr. Dr. Cyrill Jean Nunn, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Netherlands said, “Germany is very happy to contribute €110,000 to the important work of the Trust Fund of Victims for the benefits of the victims of mass atrocities and their families.“
TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan thanked the Government of Germany saying “Germany’s contribution to the TFV is sending a strong signal of support to the Trust Fund’s mandate, in particular in reparations proceedings. Our sincere appreciation goes to Germany for its continued commitment to enable victims overcome their harm from international crimes, and to achieve dignity and resilience.”
Al Mahdi case
On 27 September 2016, the ICC’s Trial Chamber VIII unanimously found Mr Al Mahdi guilty, as a co-perpetrator, of the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against historic monuments and buildings dedicated to religion, including nine mausoleums and one mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, in June and July 2012. All but one of these buildings had the status of protected UNESCO World Heritage sites. Due to their purpose and symbolism, the cultural property is unique. Therefore, its destruction carries a message of terror and helplessness, destroys part of humanity's shared memory and collective consciousness and renders it unable to transmit its values and knowledge to future generations.
As mentioned in the Reparations order in Al Mahdi case, UNESCO stated that “the loss of heritage during times of conflict can deprive a community of its identity and memory, as well as the physical testimony of its past. Those destroying cultural heritage seek to disrupt the social fabric of societies.” Considering the impact of such crime on the community, the Chamber thus considered that collective reparations are the most appropriate way to address the damage caused.
In addition to the measures related to rehabilitation and maintenance of protected buildings, the Court ordered also other collective, individual and symbolic measures allowing the TFV to comprehensively address the harms of the community.
To date, the TFV is implementing four reparations ordered by the ICC, the Lubanga, Katanga, Al Mahdi and Ntaganda cases. The convicted persons in these cases were all found to be indigent and the TFV has responded to the ICC's requests to consider complementing the payment of the reparations awards. The TFV has also engaged in the fifth reparations proceeding in Ongwen since the beginning of 2021.