Related Rule
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Practice Relating to Rule 150. Reparation
In 2009, in the Basele Lutula and Others case, the Military Garrison Court of Kisangani convicted several Mai-Mai militia members of various crimes. The Court stated:
Regarding the civil parties … , the Court sentences the defendants Basele Lutula, Osumaka-Loleka, Okanga Likunda, Kipeleka Nyembo Bumba and Koti Okeke to pay, jointly with the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC], the equivalent in francs of 10,000 USD … to each of [the civil parties] as compensation for the harm suffered.
Regarding the victims of [the crime of] beating and wounding … , the Military Garrison Court of Kisangani sentences the above-mentioned defendants to pay, in solidum with the DRC, the equivalent in francs of 2,500 USD … to each of them as damages. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Garrison Court of Kisangani, Basele Lutula and Others case, Judgment, 3 June 2009, pp. 38–39.
In 2010, in the Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, the Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia convicted a leader of the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) of several war crimes. The Court stated:
147 … [T]he acts of the present case are closely related to the armed conflicts that took place in the Ituri District, in the Eastern Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC], from 2001 to 2004. Ituri was in turmoil during that period, following armed confrontations between several armed groups and other tribal militias supported by political-military movements in this part of the republic, which was outside the control and authority of the central government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
148 … [T]he most virulent of these groups was the UPC [Union of Congolese Patriots] and its armed branch called FPLC [Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo], along with their allies from the Ugandan army called UPDF [Uganda People’s Defence Force]. During that period, they implemented strategies aimed at exacerbating the armed conflict by launching military operations of a large scale in Ituri, most often against armed groups and militias in Hema or Gegere, but mainly the Lendu civilians and similar ethnicities, in particular the Ngiti combatants from the FRPI militia, thus spreading terror, violence and death throughout Ituri.
149 … [T]he civil parties [to the present case] argued that the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo should ensure to restore the safety of persons and their property throughout the national territory, including in Ituri, as well as ensure the safety of all of its borders.
150 … [A]ccording to the civil parties, the central government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, exasperated by the scale of the armed conflicts in this part of the territory and concerned about restoring its authority and peace throughout the national territory, especially in Ituri, decided, at about the end of the second trimester of 2002, with the aim of neutralizing the UPC, to establish a secret collaboration with certain armed groups and tribal militias present in Ituri which were hostile to the UPC and … the UPDF, and to strengthen their military capacities in the field.
151 … [I]n order to achieve such objective, the central government of the DRC focused on providing weapons and ammunition in abundance to armed groups and other tribal militias hostile to the UPC, in particular the FRPI Ngiti combatants, through the armed group RCD KML [Congolese Rally for Democracy-Kisangani Movement for Liberation] of Mbusa Nyamwisi, as the latter was already an ally and controlled the aerodrome of Aveba, where planes carrying weapons and ammunition landed.
152 … [T]he civil parties concluded that it was in these circumstances that the FRPI Ngiti combatants were strengthened, through the supply of weapons and ammunition by the central Government of the DRC; and that it was with such weapons and ammunition that Collectivité Chefferie de Nyankunde and Groupement Mensudzo were attacked by such combatants … in September 2002, at the same time as the assaults launched by the same combatants against the positions of the armed branch of the UPC and the bases in Nyankunde centre of their allies of the Ugandan army, the UPDF, with the aim of dislodging them.
153 … [A]ccording to the civil parties, by proceeding this way, the central government of the DRC has de facto assigned to armed groups and tribal militias such as the FRPI Ngiti combatants a specific task which was related to the government’s national duty of putting an end to the armed conflicts in Ituri and restoring peace and the effectivity of its authority through the neutralization of the UPC, … FPLC and … UPDF.
154 … [T]he civil parties thus concluded that the Congolese government failed to fulfil its primary mission of ensuring the safety of the population of Ituri, including the inhabitants of Nyankunde and Musedzo; that the central government of the DRC created a relationship of principal and agent with those armed groups and tribal militias, including the FRPI Ngiti combatants; and that such relationship, according to article 260 of the Congolese Civil Code … , irreversibly and indubitably engages the civil responsibility of the principal, that is, the central government of the DRC, for the harm caused to third parties by FRPI Ngiti combatants.
155 … [This] Military Garrison Court finds that the civil parties raised contradictory arguments with the aim of holding the Congolese State civilly responsible in the present case … [T]he contradiction [is] blatant when they state that “there is evidence about [the defendant’s] indisputable membership of the FRPI: when arrested on 5 August 2007 fleeing from the sweep operations launched by the FAR[D]C [Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo] against residual positions of the FRPI, … [he] was found in possession of a roadmap … signed by … the Chief of Staff of the FRPI, for the [the defendant’s] displacement to the [latter’s] residence in Nyavo” … However, if there were a relationship between the supposed principal, [that is], the central government of the DRC, and the agents, [that is], armed groups and tribal militias [including] the FRPI Ngiti combatants, the FARDC, which is DRC’s regular army, would not have carried out such sweep operations against the residual positions of the FRPI … [This armed group] is still present in Chefferie de WaLendu Bindi and still fights against the FARDC.
156 … [This] Military Garrison Court … dismisses the hypothesis of a principal’s civil liability pursuant to article 260 of the Congolese Civil Code … in favour of [the application of] article 258 of the same code, according to which any act committed by a person which causes damage to another obliges the one by whose fault it occurred to repair it. This view by the Court does not deviate from the individual criminal responsibility of the defendant by omission as explained above. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia, Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, Judgment, 9 July 2010, §§ 147–156.
In March 2006, in the Bongi Massaba case, a case against a captain of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Military Garrison Court of Ituri at Bunia held:
Whereas, in the present case, the three conditions of civil liability are fulfilled, inasmuch as the defendant has committed a fault by causing, by bullet, the death of the following persons …
Whereas, therefore, the civil liability of the defendant, as perpetrator of the act, is fully engaged.
Whereas, furthermore, the conditions of article 260, paragraph 3 [of the Congolese Civil Code], according to which masters and principals are liable for the damage caused by their servants and agents in the functions for which they were employed, must equally be examined;
Whereas, in fact, four conditions are required for the application of that article, namely: the existence of a link between the principal and the agent; proof that the damage was caused by the fault; occurrence of the damage in the exercise of the functions for which the agent was last employed; the damage was caused to a third person.
Whereas, in the present case, the four conditions mentioned above are fulfilled, inasmuch as:
- there is an agent, namely the defendant Blaise Bongi Massaba, who worked under the authority and the orders of the principal who happens to be the Congolese State (Democratic Republic of the Congo), through the army, the FARDC;
- the death of the five persons cited above was caused by the defendant, captain Blaise Bongi Massaba, agent of the Congolese State, who, with the help of a war weapon, shot on the five victims;
- these victims, cited above, were third persons in the sense of the law …
[-] the defendant, captain Blaise Bongi Massaba, agent of the army, the FARDC, committed the act which caused injury to the victims while being in service;
Whereas, in view of the above, the civil liability of the principal, namely the Congolese State (the Democratic Republic of the Congo), through its army (the FARDC), remains fully engaged;
Therefore
The Military Garrison Tribunal of Ituri, finding on the civil action,
After proceedings in which both sides were heard, and by the majority of the votes of its members, by secret vote,
Consequently orders Mr Blaise Bongi Massaba jointly with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pay each of the four families of the victims the equivalent in Congolese Francs of the sum of 75,000 US Dollars (seventy-five-thousand US Dollars) as damages and interest, covering all injuries, or the equivalent in Congolese Francs of the total sum of 300,000 US Dollars (three-hundred-thousand US Dollars). 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Garrison Court of Ituri, Bongi Massaba case, Judgment, 24 March 2006.
In November 2006, on the defendant’s appeal, the Military Court of the Eastern Province held:
Whereas the charges of the war crimes of pillage and violence to life and person are sufficiently established as required by the law;
Whereas these breaches caused damages and harm for which the civilian parties demand reparation and indemnification on the basis of articles 258 and 260 of the third book of the Congolese civil code;
Whereas the civil liability of the authors of breaches that have caused harm to the parties is based on article 258 of the third book of the Congolese civil code, according to which: “any act whatsoever which causes damage to another, obligates the person by whose fault that damage has occurred to repair it”.
What about the civil responsibility of the State?
Whereas that responsibility follows from the presumption of the fault the administration or the State can commit in the choice and supervision of its agents;
Whereas the beneficiary of the act accomplished by its agents on its account, it is only logical and follows from the elementary principle of fairness that the State is called on to repair the wrong resulting from the service from which it profits as master; …
Whereas the State, just like the principal, must answer for the damage caused by its agents in the exercise of their functions, not because it has committed a fault, created a risk or broken the equality of burdens between citizens, but because it is obligated to guarantee the safety of individuals against damaging acts by those who exercise an activity in its name and on its account;
Whereas, in fact, when an organ of the State acts, it is the State itself that acts, and, consequently, when an agent commits a fault in the exercise of his functions, that fault engages the whole State …;
Whereas the abuse of the function is no obstacle to the responsibility of the master;
Whereas the defendant Blaise Bongi Massaba, in his capacity as soldier of the FARDC, is an agent of the Congolese State, thus that soldier engages the responsibility of the State, since it is admitted that the abuse of functions is not an obstacle to the responsibility of the principal, namely the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
Whereas the Military Court of the Eastern Province therefore judges that the responsibility of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is engaged as regards the assassination of the five pupils from Tchekele by the soldiers of the third company under the command of the defendant Blaise Bongi Massaba;
Whereas the same applies to the other acts of attacks on property in which not only the soldiers are implicated but in which also and in particular the Congolese State has failed its mission to keep individuals safe;
Whereas that responsibility for acts of third persons finds its basis in article 260 of the third book of the Congolese civil code which provides:
- one is responsible not only for the damage one causes by one’s own act, but also for that which is caused by the act of persons for whom one is responsible or things which one has under one’s care;
Whereas the Democratic Republic of the Congo in its capacity as principal described above has the civil liability for the reparation or indemnification of damages and harm caused to third persons by the act of its agents, who are the soldiers of the FARDC, of the third company of the first battalion in the sixth brigade.
Therefore
The Military Court of the Eastern Province, finding on the civil action, after proceedings in which both sides were heard, and by the majority of the votes of its members.
1. Declares admissible and founded on the merits the action for reparation and indemnification for harms introduced by Madame …
The courts orders the defendant Blaise Bongi Massaba, jointly with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to pay as compensation for damage suffered:
To Madame …
- mother of … and aunt of…
- the equivalent in Congolese Francs of 100,000 US Dollars as damages and interest,
- the equivalent in Congolese Francs of 15,000 US Dollars as the counter value of her destroyed house …,
- the restitution of the objects described above or their counter value …
2. As regards the civil party …, father of … and …,
The Military Court of the Eastern Province orders the defendant Blaise Bongi Massaba, jointly with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to pay…
- the equivalent in Congolese Francs of 100,000 US Dollars as damages and interest.
3. As regards the civil party …, father of …,
The Military Court of the Eastern Province orders the defendant Blaise Bongi Massaba, jointly with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to pay…
- the equivalent in Congolese Francs of 50,000 US Dollars as damages and interest. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Court of the Eastern Province, Bongi Massaba case, Judgment on Appeals, 4 November 2006.