Congolese 'Terminator' warlord to be sentenced at ICC

Congolese rebel chief Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda was a "key leader" who gave orders to "target and kill civilians".

File: International Criminal Court Judges will sentence Congolese rebel chief Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda for charges such as war crimes and sexual slavery.


CONGO - International Criminal Court Judges will on Thursday sentence Congolese rebel chief Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda after he was convicted earlier this year of war crimes and sexual slavery.

Ntaganda faces life in prison for a litany of crimes including directing massacres of civilians in Democratic Republic of Congo's volatile, mineral-rich Ituri region in 2002 and 2003.

He became the first person to be found guilty of sexual slavery when he was convicted by The Hague-based ICC in July. In total he was convicted on 13 counts of war crimes and five of crimes against humanity.

The Rwandan-born 46-year-old has appealed against his conviction.

READ: Congolese 'Terminator' rebel guilty of war crimes

"Judges may impose an imprisonment sentence of maximum 30 years or life imprisonment when justified by the extreme gravity of the crime," the ICC said in a statement announcing his sentencing.

The ICC judges heard separately from victims and witnesses in September to help them decide on the sentence.

The first-ever suspect to voluntarily surrender to the ICC, Ntaganda walked into the US embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2013 and asked to be sent to the court in the Netherlands.

During his trial Ntaganda was portrayed as the ruthless leader of ethnic Tutsi revolts amid the wars that convulsed the DRC after the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in neighbouring Rwanda.

Judges found that Ntaganda was a "key leader" in terms of planning and operations for the Union of Congolese Patriots rebel group and its military wing, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).

Fighters loyal to him carried out atrocities such as a massacre in a banana field behind a village in which at least 49 people including children and babies were disembowelled or had their heads smashed in.

Ntaganda was also responsible for the rape and sexual slavery of underage girls, and of recruiting troops under the age of 15.