DR Congo's Bosco Ntaganda convicted of war crimes by ICC

Bosco Ntaganda, a former rebel leader has been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Bosco Ntaganda at a past hearing. (Net photo)

Bosco Ntaganda, a former rebel leader has been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo by judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed "Terminator", was convicted of 18 counts, including murder, rape and using child soldiers.

The crimes included babies being disembowelled or having their heads smashed, judges said.

He becomes the fourth person convicted by the ICC since its creation in 2002.

His lawyers had argued that Ntaganda was a victim, having also been recruited as a child soldier.

Ntaganda surrendered at the US embassy in DR Congo in 2013.

Analysts said it was an act of self-preservation, motivated by the danger he was in after losing a power-struggle within his M23 rebel group.

What did he do?

A three-judge bench found Ntaganda guilty on all 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the mineral rich eastern region of Ituri between 2002 and 2003.

Ntaganda, 45, was a "key leader" who gave orders to "target and kill civilians" judge Robert Fremr said in the ruling.

Prosecutors had said Ntaganda was key in planning and running operations for the Union of Congolese Patriots (UCP) rebels and its military wing, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).

He was found to be responsible as an indirect co-perpetrator for rape and sexual slavery. The judges also ruled that he personally killed a Catholic priest, while the fighters he commanded ran rampage in the region.

The crimes took place when Ntaganda served as the deputy chief of general staff of Thomas Lubanga - who was the leader of UPC rebel group. He was convicted by the ICC in 2012.

The judges also found Ntaganda guilty of crimes involving recruiting child soldiers, including young girls.

 

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