The International Criminal Court has convicted Congolese former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda, known as the “Terminator”, as guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The ex-warlord was convicted on 13 counts of war crimes and 5 counts for crimes against humanity. The trial had begun nine years after the International Criminal Court called for his arrest.
The convictions included murder, rape and the use of child soldiers in warfare.
He was found guilty of all the 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity he faced. The court case took place in the Hague, where the judgment was read out on Monday.
Head International Criminal Court (ICC) Judge Robert Fremr said Ntaganda was a “key leader” who ordered troops to “target and kill civilians” in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2002 and 2003.
The convictions included responsibility for an atrocity in a Congolese village, where children were disembowelled or had their heads smashed in.
The ICC said 2,123 victims of Ntaganda had been consulted in the trial, which included ex-child soldiers recruited under his watch.
Ntaganda’s lawyers had argued in the defense that he himself was a victim, as he had been a child soldier. He had denied all charges.
The charges are from 2002 and 2003, when Ntaganda was deputy chief of staff of the military wing of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC).
He was also found guilty of pillaging and of forcefully displacing people from their homes.