News / Africa

Ex-Congolese Warlord Appears at War Crimes Court

Judges at ICC Hear Evidence Against Congolese Generali
X
February 11, 2014 6:02 AM
Judges at the International Criminal Court are assessing whether there is enough evidence to try former Congolese general Bosco Ntaganda for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Watch related video from VOA.

TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Bryant
— The International Criminal Court opened a hearing Monday to decide whether to bring Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda to trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Ntaganda, who was deported to The Hague court last year, says he is innocent. 

Wearing a dark grey suit, former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda sat impassively as the International Criminal Court's prosecutor Fatou Bensouda outlined her case against him.

M23 rebel group:

  • Formed in early 2012
  • Named for March 23, the date of a 2009 peace deal
  • Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army
  • Includes fighters once loyal to a rebel army who assimilated into the DRC army, then defected
  • Dominated by the Tutsi ethnic group
  • Its leader Bertrand Bisimwa said Nov. 5, 2013, that the group is laying down its arms
  • UN experts say the group is backed by Rwanda, which Rwanda denies
"Your Honors, Bosco Ntaganda, the notorious commander known as The Terminator, is here before you because of his role in pursuing a campaign of violence and terror against civilians a children for more than one year," she announced.  "And for failing to punish crimes committed by troops under his effective command and control."

Ntaganda is more recently known as the alleged leader of the M23 rebel movement that controlled large chunks of the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province in 2012.  He fled to neighboring Rwanda last year and took refuge at the U.S. embassy there, before being deported to The Hague.

The 13 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity against him deal with atrocities that took place in DRC's northeastern Ituri region between 2002 and 2003.  At the time, Ntaganda served under another warlord, Thomas Lubanga, who is now appealing a 14-year prison sentence handed down by the ICC.

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda looks on during the case against Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda (not pictured) at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 10, 2014.Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda looks on during the case against Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda (not pictured) at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 10, 2014.
x
Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda looks on during the case against Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda (not pictured) at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 10, 2014.
Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda looks on during the case against Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda (not pictured) at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Feb. 10, 2014.
Bensouda offered graphic examples of the fighting in two areas of Ituri that at the time pitted the region's Hema and Lendu tribes against each other.

"During these two assaults, thousands of people were forcibly displaced, killed, raped and used as sexual slaves, their goods pillaged, their property destroyed, " she told the court.

One of the lawyers for the victims, Sarah Pellet, described how young girls were raped and sent to the front lines to fight by Ntaganda's men.

Pellet said the victims were waiting for Ntaganda to have the courage to apologize for robbing them of their childhood and ruining their lives.

Ntaganda says he is innocent and his lawyers will be outlining their case during the weeklong hearing.  The ICC judges will have 60 days to decide whether or not to go ahead with a trial.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Abel Ogah from: Oju Nigeria
February 10, 2014 2:45 PM
Rebels all the world should take note that there will always be a time to give account of whatever we do here on earth. To God alone be the Glory.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid