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DR Congo’s Ntaganda ICC trial to begin

  • 2 September 2015
  • From the section Africa
Rwandan-born Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda is seen during his first appearance before judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, 26 March 2013
Image caption Bosco Ntaganda faces 13 counts of war crimes and five charges of crimes against humanity

Former Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda is due to go on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for war crimes.

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He denies all 18 charges which include murder, rape and the recruitment of child soldiers.

More than 2,000 victims have been cleared to take part in the trial, including former child soldiers who will be called as witnesses.

Gen Ntaganda fought for different rebel groups as well as the Congolese army.

The 41-year-old is accused of killing at least 800 civilians during separate attacks on a number of villages between 2002 and 2003.

He is also accused of raping girl soldiers and keeping them as sex slaves.

Image caption Gen Ntaganda is accused of recruiting child soldiers

In 2013, he handed himself in at the US embassy in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

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He had evaded capture for seven years after the ICC first issued warrants for his arrest.

Bosco Ntaganda was part of the Union of Congolese Patriots rebel group, led by Thomas Lubanga who in 2014 became the only person convicted by the ICC.

Gen Ntaganda was one of the leaders of the M23 rebel movement, which had fought government troops until signing a peace deal in 2013.

Eastern DR Congo has suffered two decades of violence linked to ethnic rivalries and competition for the control of the area’s rich mineral resources.

The unrest began when some of the ethnic Hutu militants accused of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda fled into DR Congo.


Who is Bosco Ntaganda?

  • Born in 1973 in Rwanda
  • Fled to DR Congo as a teenager after attacks on fellow ethnic Tutsis
  • At 17, he begins his fighting days – alternating between being a rebel and a soldier, in both Rwanda and DR Congo
  • In 2006, indicted by the ICC for allegedly recruiting child soldiers in Ituri
  • In 2009, he is integrated into the Congolese national army and made a general
  • In 2012, he defects from the army, sparking a new rebellion which forces 800,000 from their homes
  • In March 2013, hands himself in to US embassy in Kigali

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