Congo rebel leader convicted of war crimes News
OSeveno, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Congo rebel leader convicted of war crimes

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday convicted Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious Congolese rebel commander known as “The Terminator,” of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

These crimes were committed in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), from 2002-2003. Ntaganda was found guilty of “murder and attempted murder, rape, sexual slavery, persecution, forcible transfer and deportation,” along with war crimes such as “intentionally directing attacks against civilians.”

Ntaganda maintained his innocence throughout the trial. He was indicted in 2006 but served as a General in the DRC’s army before turning himself in in 2013.

The Presiding Judge of the court described one massacre that Ntaganda led in a banana field where “[t]he bodies of those killed — men women and children and babies — were found in the banana field over the next days. … Some bodies were found naked, some had their hands tied up and some had their heads crushed. Several bodies were disemboweled or otherwise mutilated.”

The ICC will schedule a separate hearing regarding the sentence so they can hear additional evidence related to the sentencing; Ntaganda has 30 days to appeal.

The trial opened on September 2, 2015, and closing statements were in August 2018.