Congolese 'Terminator' warlord to be sentenced at ICC

Congolese'Terminator warlord to be sentenced at ICC
Thursday November 7 2019




Bosco

At the time of Ntaganda's crimes, the DRC Congo was embroiled in the Second Congo War, a brutal conflict involving nine African states and dozens of militias between 1998-2003.

The Hague-based court was set up to prosecute atrocities around the world where national authorities are unable or unwilling to hold trials.

Judge Robert Flemr justified the sentence with the fact that the crimes committed by Ntaganda had been "particularly cruel".

The sentence yesterday was the highest ever penalty handed down by The Hague-based court.

Once famous for his pencil moustache and penchant for cowboy hats, Bosco Ntaganda, in a red tie and dark suit, appeared a picture of calm conformity in court as the harrowing evidence against him was read out.

Bosco Ntagaanda, nicknamed "Terminator", was convicted on 18 counts including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers. Ntaganda has already appealed against his conviction.

Bosco Ntaganda's 30-year sentence "sends a powerful message that those who commit serious crimes against the people, no matter their positions, can be held to account", Ida Sawyer, Human Right's Watch deputy Africa director, said in a statement.

The first-ever suspect to voluntarily surrender to the ICC, Ntaganda walked into the U.S. embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2013 and asked to be sent to the court in the Netherlands.


Under the court's rules, victims can apply for reparations.

He was then high up in the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), a rebel group with a military wing known as the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).

Why did infamous war criminal Bosco Ntaganda just surrender at a USA embassy?

The armed group conducted attacks against people perceived not to belong to the Hema ethnic group, the ICC found. "Some bodies were found naked, some had hands tied up, some had their heads crushed".

"The Chamber considered the gravity of the crimes and the degree of harm caused by each crime as well as Mr Ntaganda's culpability, namely his level of intent and degree of participation", the ICC said.

According to NGO's, more than 60,000 people lost their lives in the bloody violence in Ituri in 1999, an unstable and mineral-rich region.

They also decribed the "systematic rape" of the UPC's female members by their fellow militants under Ntaganda's leadership including the rape of a child soldier as young as 9.

But they found plenty of aggravating circumstances, identifying in the murder convictions the "particular cruelty" of several crimes, the "defenselessness of some of the victims" and the fact that Ntaganda, as a high-ranking commander, personally murdered a man in front of his subordinates. During the past two decades, he's fought with an alphabet soup of different militias and armies in both Rwanda and Congo.

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