Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


DRC warlord conviction hailed

14 March 2012, 17:17

The Hague - Rights groups on Wednesday hailed the conviction of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga before the International Criminal Court for conscripting child soldiers.

"It's a very strong message against those who commit these crimes, it's a sign that impunity does not exist any longer," Human Rights Watch's international justice officer Geraldine Mattioli told AFP.

"It shows that these type of crimes will not be tolerated anymore. It is a very important decision for the victims," added Sunil Pal of the non-government group Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

Lubanga, 51, was found guilty of enlisting child soldiers to fight for his militia in a gold-rich region during the bloody four-year war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which ended in 2003.

Prosecutors told the court that militia under Lubanga's control abducted and conscripted children as young as 11 from their homes, schools and football fields to serve as soldiers, and that young girls were used as sex slaves.

First transferred to The Hague in 2006, Lubanga the alleged founder of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and chief commander of its military wing, went on trial in January 2009. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Alpha Sesay, international legal officer at the Open Society's Justice Initiative, said the ruling would send a strong message to others who used child soldiers in their army, including Uganda's Joseph Kony.

Since earlier this month, Kony, leader of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army, has been the subject of an intense online campaign to bring him to The Hague, where he faces war crimes and crimes against humanity charges.

"This judgment will have an effect in Ituri [in the DRC]. It will have the same effect in Uganda," Sesay said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto not affected by Peter Ken...

The DP is not affected by the move to join the Jubilee Party by Peter Kenneth. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
2017 countdown: Lots to ponder fo...

The battle for votes ahead of the 2017 elections has taken a mini stage in Kisii during a by-election that is set to show where exactly rivals CORD and Jubilee have peaked. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Close up your party, Jubilee MP t...

Close your party and join Jubilee fully, an MP has urged Peter Kenneth. Read more...