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Bosco Ntaganda is Convicted of Crimes Against Humanity by the International Criminal Court

Bosco Ntaganda, a Congolese warlord known as “The Terminator” has been convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Ntaganda, was a militia leader who ordered the massacre of civilians in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC] in 2002 and 2003.

The Guardian: "The eastern provinces of DRC have been wracked by conflict for many decades. More than 60,000 people have been killed since violence erupted in the region in 1999, according to rights groups, as militias compete for control of valuable mines and timber."

The presiding judge, Robert Fremr said that "Mr. Ntaganda was guilty as a direct perpetrator or a co-perpetrator of murders, rapes of men and women, a massacre in a banana field behind a building called The Paradiso and of enlisting and using child soldiers."

The Court will now hold a separate hearing to determine a sentence after hearing from witnesses and the families of victims. Ntaganda could receive a life sentence.

The verdict is important because the International Criminal Court [ICC] is still establishing trust and respect as an international institution. The ICC was established by a treaty known as the Rome Statute in 2002 to serve as the world’s first permanent international criminal court. It's an independent international body established to prosecute those accused of the world’s worst crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in nations where local authorities are unwilling or incapable of bringing perpetrators to justice.

In its short history, the Court has had several noteworthy successes, but also some recent setbacks and came under attack from the Trump administration after investigating alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

New York Times: "The convictions on Monday were a victory for the court’s prosecutors after some recent high-profile defeats. In January, judges acquitted Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of the Ivory Coast, and a former government minister of involvement in crimes after disputed 2010 elections."

The ICC is investigating individuals for similar crimes in the DRC along with cases resulting from atrocities in ten other nations including Darfur, Sudan, Libya and Mali. In the past, few of these individuals would have ever faced prosecution, but the ICC is slowly changing that, putting other human rights abusers on notice that their crimes are not going unnoticed.

#news #ICC #internationalrelations

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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