The International Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced former Congolese military leader Bosco Ntaganda to 30 years in prison.
Ntaganda was convicted of several atrocities including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers.
He was found guilty in July on 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for acts committed when he was military operations chief for the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002-2003.
The former warlord was also accused of keeping women as sex slaves and murder in the DR Congo between 2002 and 2003.
Ntaganda’s UPC, dominated by the Hema clan, targeted rival Lendu people for expulsion from the mineral-rich Ituri region during the Congolese conflict.
Hundreds of civilians were killed and many thousands were forced to flee the country.
— Int’l Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) November 7, 2019
Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed “Terminator”, the 46-year old was present for his sentencing by the criminal court.
His jail term is the longest handed down by the Hague court to date.
Ntaganda was incharge of the troops that executed the 2008 Kiwanji massacre of 150 people.
He became a general in the Congolese national army but defected and sparked a rebellion resulting in massive displacement of citizens.
After years of being on the radar and being wanted Bosco Ntaganda surrenders to US embassy in Kigali.
Judge Robert Fremr said in his ruling “The crimes for which Mr. Ntaganda has been convicted, despite their gravity and his degree of culpability, do not warrant a sentence of life in prison.”
Fremr also said that Ntaganda was not only guilty of persecution as a crime against humanity.
He however added that Ntaganda had personally murdered a Catholic priest, setting an example for his soldiers to follow.
Ntaganda’s charge sheet included conscription of child soldiers, as well as rape and sexual enslavement of both civilians and child soldiers, including two girls under 15 years old and one aged just 9.