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Congolese Warlord Sentenced To 14 Years For Child Soldiers

Agnus Dei Farrant |
July 10, 2012 | 11:48 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Thomas Lubanga (Creative Commons).
Thomas Lubanga (Creative Commons).
The Hague’s International Criminal Court sentenced a Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga, to 14 years in prison on Tuesday for using child soldiers in his militia in 2002 and 2003, The New York Times reported. The sentence was the first by the court. 

Lubanga was found guilty in March of “widespread” use of boys and girls as soldiers in his rebel army. The children, under the age of 15, were recruited into his militia and sent to kill villagers in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the newspaper reported. 

Lubanga led the Union of Congolese Patriots, a militia active in the war that started in the Ituri region in 1999, BBC reported. The war killed an estimated 60,000 people.

According to BBC, the war was part of a wider Democratic Republic of Congo war, which killed an estimated 5 million people. 

The prosecution had requested a 30-year sentence. Lubanga will serve eight years after receiving credit for six years he has already spent in the custody of The Hague. 

It is unclear where Lubanga will serve his sentence. A number of nations have agreed to accept convicts from the International Criminal Court, including Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland and Serbia, The New York Times reported. Three major countries - the United States, China and Russia - don’t recognize its jurisdiction. 

The International Criminal Court was created in 1998. It opened in The Hague in 2002.


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