Clay Cows part of the symbolic ceremony held in Bunia.

Symbolic Ceremony Marks End of ICC-Ordered Reparations for Victims in the
case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo

On 24 April 2024, a ceremony was convened in Bunia, Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo, by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV), with the support of the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the presence of Ambassadors and representatives from Belgium, Germany, the European Union, Senegal and the Netherlands, to mark the completion of the implementation of reparations in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga. More than 200 of the 297 beneficiaries were present at the ceremony. 

The Katanga Reparation Programme benefitted individuals who lost family members, who suffered physical and psychological harm, and who lost their homes, property and livestock as a result of the attack of 24 February 2003 on the village of Bogoro in Ituri Province, DRC, for which Mr Katanga was held liable as an accessory by the ICC.

“This is the first time that the implementation of reparations ordered by the judges in an International Criminal Court case has been completed. It is therefore an important milestone for the Rome Statute system, but above all, it is an important moment for the survivors of the attack on the village of Bogoro,” said ICC President Tomoko Akane in her video-recorded message presented to the participants of the Closing Ceremony. In addressing the beneficiaries, she said that “I deeply admire the dignity you have shown throughout the ICC process, and I sincerely hope that the International Criminal Court has succeeded in bringing you justice.”

The symbolic event was organized in pursuance of the wishes of the victims, who constituted themselves in a committee to devise the event. The Ceremony, in which the legal representatives of victims Maître Fidel Luvengika Nsita, and Maître Paolina Massidda, participated, included a dance of various local traditions symbolically calling for reconciliation between the various communities of Ituri Province which continues suffering armed conflict; a theatrical performance by students about the Rome Statute and its delivery of justice for the people of Bogoro, which concluded with a prayer. The Ceremony also featured a dialogue between the beneficiaries of the reparations and Mr. Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, who served as a Judge at the ICC from 2015- to 2024 and who presided over the Chamber that delivered the reparations order.  

The Ceremony included a testimony from a survivor and a symbolic act of the acceptance of the reparations and of their conclusions through the transfer by the beneficiaries of cows in clay to those that made the reparations possible. Cows are emblematic to the case as they are central to Iturian identity and are symbols of prosperity. They were also part of the income-generating items that victims chose to receive as reparations.

The award for reparations of USD 1 million ordered by the ICC against Mr. Katanga was complemented in full by the TFV with resources from the governments of Germany, The Netherlands and additional unrestricted contributions for the TFV. At the Ceremony, H.E. Mr. Ingo Herbert, Ambassador of Germany to the DRC, stated that those supporting the TFV “wish to honour the victims and their Legal Representatives for bearing witness and for demonstrating to the international community how to actively implicate local communities in the planification and implementation of reparations.”

Mr. Ibrahim Yillah, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims of the ICC said: “This ceremony serves as a reminder of the key importance of collaboration between the States Parties to the Rome Statute, the ICC and the Trust Fund for Victims and illustrate the international community's strong commitment to the pursuit of justice promised by the Rome Statute.”

About the Ceremony

The Ceremony was opened by the Governor of Bunia, H.E. Lieutenant General Johnny Luboya, and by Prof. Taylor Lubanga, advisor to the President of DRC and ICC Focal Point. The inaugural portion included pre-recorded messages from the ICC President Judge Tomoko Akane, from H.E. Ms. Päivi Kaukoranta, President of the Assembly of States Parties and from Honorable Socorro Flores Liera, Single Judge at the ICC Trial Chamber II, currently overseeing the implementation of the Katanga Reparation Programme. The Ceremony was attended by a delegation of Ambassadors of States Parties led by H.E. Ingo Herbert, Ambassador of Germany to the DRC, including H.E. Roxane de Bildering, Ambassador of Belgium to the DRC, H.E. Nicolás Berlanga Martínez, Ambassador of the European Union to the DRC, and Ms. Evelien Boersma, Cheffe de mission adjointe for H.E. Angèle Samura, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the DRC. Mr. Ibrahim Yillah, Vice-Chair of the TFV Board of Directors, represented the TFV Board of Directors. H.E. Ramatoulaye Ba Epse Faye, Ambassador of Senegal to the Netherlands attended the Ceremony, as one of the co-chairs of the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties' working group on cooperation and complementarity.

The ceremony and the Katanga reparations were at the centre of by a Roundtable event in Kinshasa held on 25 April 2024, hosted by the H.E. Ingo Herbert, Ambassador of Germany to the DRC which gathered States Parties, UN agencies, government officials and civil society to learn more about this and other reparation programmes implemented in the DRC.

About the Katanga Reparations Ordered by the ICC

Following the Reparations Order delivered by ICC Trial Chamber II in 2017 and confirmed on appeal in 2018, reparations were implemented between 2017 and 2023. In the first two years of the implementation, each individual received USD 250 as symbolic compensation. Between 2018 and 2023, based on the preferences of victims, victims present in Ituri Province received collective reparations in the form of housing support, educational support for themselves and their dependents, and support for income-generating activities, according to their preferences. Victims living outside of Ituri Province received cash instead of any of these modalities. All victims residing in Ituri received also psychological support in 2023. The completion of these reparations was achieved and reported by the TFV to Trial Chamber II in October 2023.

For more information about the Trust Fund for Victims, please contact or visit: You can also follow TFV’s activities on X, LinkedIn, and Facebook.