The International Criminal Court has sentenced Democratic Republic of Congo warlord, Bosco Ntaganda nicknamed the “Terminator” to 30 years imprisonment for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The court had in July convicted him of 18 counts of murder, rape, sexual slavery and use of child soldiers.
Although the penalty for all the crimes he was convicted of ranges from eight to 30 years’ detention per crime, his 30-year sentence is the maximum permitted under the ICC’s Rome statute.
“The conditions warranting life imprisonment were not met,” the court said in a statement, adding that the six and a half years that Ntaganda had spent in custody would be deducted from his sentence.
In July, the court found Ntaganda guilty of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15, of using them to fight in the vast resource-rich eastern regions of DRC, bordering Rwanda and Uganda.
In its ruling earlier, the court said Ntaganda “meant for civilians to be attacked and killed, for their property to be appropriated and destroyed, for civilians to be raped and subjected to sexual slavery, for civilians to be forcibly displaced, for protected objects to be intentionally attacked, and for the aforementioned conduct to be targeted towards the Lendu civilian population, as such, the latter thereby amounting to persecution”.
“The Chamber convicted Mr. Ntaganda of the murder of at least 74 individuals and the attempted murder of five more, in addition to making broader findings of murders of unquantified numbers of persons. This means that murder was committed on a large scale,” the court ruled in July.
The court found him guilty of playing a key role in planning and running operations for the Union of Congolese Patriots (UCP) rebels and its military wing, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).
Born in 1973 in Rwanda, Bosco Ntaganda fled to Democratic Republic of Congo as a teenager and at 17 he began his fighting days alternating between being a rebel and soldier in both Rwanda and DRC.
Between 2002 and 2003 he was the Deputy Chief of Staff and commander of operations of the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC) but in 2006 he was indicted by ICC for recruiting child soldiers.
Ntaganda was in charge of troops who carried out 2008 Kiwanji massacre of 150 people and in 2009 he was integrated into the Congolese army where he was made a general.
In 2012, he defected from the army, sparking a new rebellion that forced over 800,000 from their homes and in 2013, a split in his rebel group forced him to surrender to the US embassy in Kigali.