Child-Arming Warlord to Receive 14 Years

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Tuesday the International Criminal Court handed down their first ruling in history. They sentenced Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in prison, six of which he has already served while in custody, for using child soldiers in his rebel army.

Mark Quarterman, research director of The Enough Project, a human rights group that focuses on the Congo, says he is “satisfied” with the ruling. His opinion is shared by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, who says: "The sentencing of Thomas Lubanga by the International Criminal Court will be welcomed by Lubanga’s victims." Hague also says that ruling "is a powerful reminder that those who commit the most serious international crimes will be held accountable for their actions."

Recruiting children as young as 11 is only the tip of the iceberg. Lubanga has been accused by the Human Rights Watch to have "carried out ethnic massacres, murder, torture, rape and mutilation, as well as the recruitment of child soldiers." 

This is the first ruling by the ICC, which was established in 2002.


Mark Quarterman

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