Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Court convicts Congo's Ntaganda of war crimes

Court convicts Congo's Ntaganda of war crimes

Former Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda was on Monday found guilty of 18-count charge of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.

He also committed crimes against humanity including "murder and attempted murder, intentionally directing attacks against civilians, rape, sexual slavery, ordering the displacement of the civilian population, conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years into an armed group and using them to participate actively in hostilities, intentionally directing attacks against protected objects, and destroying the adversary's property".

The comments pose a sharp contrast to the image painted by ICC prosecutors, who say Ntaganda commanded a rebel group, the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), that killed, raped and exploited people in Congo's eastern Ituri province in 2002 and 2003.

Ntaganda surrendered at the USA embassy in Rwanda in 2013.

Bosco's cruelty and violence earned him the nickname "The Terminator", but his lawyers have argued that Bosco was a victim, having also been recruited as a child soldier.

A separate hearing will be scheduled to determine his sentence.

"Men, females and children and infants have been found within the self-discipline".

The former Congolese rebel chief Bosco Ntaganda has been spoken for war crimes in the Congo are guilty of. Some bodies were found naked, some had hands tied up, some had their heads crushed.

In the conflict in Congo, Ntaganda's UPC, dominated by the Hema clan, targeted rival Lendu people for expulsion from the mineral-rich Ituri region.

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"The long-awaited judgment provides an important measure of justice for Bosco Ntaganda's victims and puts others responsible for grave crimes on notice", she said. "Several bodies were disemboweled or otherwise mutilated". Fremr said Ntaganda himself shot and killed an elderly man serving as a Catholic priest.

He becomes the first particular person convicted of sexual slavery by the ICC.

The World Federation for Human Rights (acknowledged by its French acronym FIDH) called Monday's judgment a day of victory for Ntaganda's victims and a day of hope for others.

Judge Fremr detailed specific instances of acts Ntaganda was responsible for, such as personal calls for children to join his forces, as well as killings by his men, including that of a pregnant woman who had been kept in a pit.

"And so in some ways, as one former child soldier told me, Ntaganda was a mercenary operating for these more powerful players", he said.

Ntaganda, who handed himself in six years ago, will be sentenced at a later date.

More than 2,000 survivors were cleared to capture half in this trial.

Maria Elena Vignoli, worldwide justice counsel with Human Rights Watch, welcomed Ntaganda's conviction.

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was captured and transferred to the court past year.

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