ICC seeks to secure conviction of former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda
Former rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, is responsible for the recruitment of child soldiers and murder of civilians, as well as war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ICC prosecutors Tuesday told the court, reports Sainey Darboe at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands.
Former DRC rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda
Bosco Ntaganda was the military chief of staff of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), an armed militia group operating in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).He is a former member of the Rwandan Patriotic Army allegedly a former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC). The former rebel commander, according to prosecutors, admitted in his testimony that he had control of the forces under his command and had operational knowledge of their activities in the war field. This, the prosecution submitted, constitutes necessary mens rea or intention to commit a crime on his part by not taking action to stop atrocities against Lendu civilians. The former rebel commander,according to testimony of witnesses, had seen and condoned the abduction as well as training of child soldiers without doing enough to stop. Further making submissions before the judges at ICC, the prosecution added that Bosco Ntaganda’s military knowledge and position in his rebel group meant he was possessed of “effective control and responsibility” for crimes committed by his forces. Citing one of the prosecution witnesses, the prosecutors submitted that he had encouraged the killing of civilians and raping of women by praising those who committed such acts as “real men”. The hearing continues tomorrow at 9am.
Sainey Darboe at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands