ICC convicts Congolese warlord Ntaganda of war crimes
•Buhari pledges support for Libya’s stability
Nine years after his arrest, the International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday found former Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) warlord, Bosco Ntaganda, guilty of war crimes and related offences committed in Ituri, between 2002 and 2003.Trial Chamber VI, composed of judges Robert Fremr; Kuniko Ozaki and JChang-ho Chung, announced its verdict during a public hearing in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Ntaganda was sentenced on 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. In arriving at the verdict, the chamber, in a statement, said it received submissions from parties and participants as well as reviewed all the evidence submitted during the trial, including documents, eyewitnesses and insiders.
The panel found out that the Union des Patriotes Congolais (Union of Congolese Patriots) (UPC) and its military wing, the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo) (FPLC), were at all times involved in at least one non-international armed conflict with an opposing party, in Ituri district of the DRC from August 6, 2002 to December31, 2003.
“The conduct of the UPC/FPLC against the civilian population was the intended outcome of a preconceived strategy to target the civilian population and the crimes committed took place pursuant to a policy of the UPC/FPLC. Mr. Ntaganda fulfilled a very important military function in the UPC/FPLC,” the statement read in part.Besides, President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged Nigeria’s continued support for Libya’s quest to regain political and security stability.
The president, who discussed recent developments in the North African country as well as bilateral issues between the two nations with Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa Al-Sarraj, noted that there were over 6000 Nigerians in the country who see it as a gateway to Europe.