Closing Speeches & Judgements

"It is time to act, as the judgement of history threatens to be harsh.“
- Jean-Louis Gilissen

The Bukavu Hearings ended on May 31, 2015. Congolese government representatives and multinational commodity corporations were declared guilty. The UN mission was absolved from a direct complicity in the massacre of Mutarule. The Berlin Hearings ended on June 29, 2015, with a second judgment on the responsibility of the World Bank and the EU in Eastern Congo. Besides the evaluation of the questions raised, the Berlin jury has called for the creation of a court for international economic crimes as well as the installation of a mixed Congolese international chamber to bring more than 600 massacres in Eastern Congo to trial.

Since 2015, Sylvestre Bisimwa, the investigator in-charge has been committed to the establishment of a permanent tribunal, modeled on „The Congo Tribunal“ to come to terms with the crimes in Eastern Congo.


"The big companies will leave us a soil without resources."

Prince Kihangi (member of the jury, Bukavu) is a lawyer and one of the leading experts on the governance of natural resources in the Great Lakes region. He is the spokesman of the civil association of Walikale (province of North Kivu). Therefore he takes part in all negotiations between the villagers, the government and the big companies from this region. He is considered to be one of the harshest critics of the Dodd-Franck Act.


"The origin of evil is not in the Congolese state, but in the people themselves."

Marcellin Cishambo Ruhoya (witness and expert, Bukavu) was a political advisor to President Joseph Kabila. In 2006 he became governor of the province of South Kivu.


"In face of the atrocities that this state has suffered, its population is threatened by the same fate as the Indians of North America."

Colette Braeckman (member of the jury, Bukavu / Berlin) is a correspondent for the Belgian newspaper Le Soir in Africa. She is an expert on the Congolese war, its history and the involvement of the European governments. Her books about the Mobutu-Era and the Congolese war are considered as standard works.


"The dream of dignity and respect for human rights is omnipresent."

Marc-Antoine Vumilia Muhindo (member of the jury, Berlin) is an author and director living in exile in Sweden. He was a member of the government of Kabila and a notable politician. In 2003 he was arrested, held responsible for the death of Laurent-Désiré Kabila and sentenced to death. A few years later he managed to flee the country.


"There is no clear differentiation between perpetrators, spectators and those who are indirectly involved."

Harald Welzer (member of the jury, Berlin) is a social psychologist, founder and director of the non-profit organization “Futurzwei”. He is an honorary professor at the University of Flensburg and an author (“Climate Wars").


"Too difficult, too complex, too complicated - 3 good reasons to turn a blind eye as a consumer."

Jean-Louis Gilissen (chairman of the Tribunal, Bukavu / Berlin) is an international criminal law expert. As a lawyer he took part in a trail against Congolese milita leaders at the International Court of Justice in Den Haag. Furthermore he was involved in the elaboration of an UN-report about Eastern Congo where the situation has been declared as “genocide”.