The International Criminal Court (ICC) has found Bosco Ntaganda, known as the “Congolese Terminator” guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC accused Ntaganda of being the “key leader” of an operation where troops were ordered to “target and kill civilians” in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Ntaganda was a general in the Congolese army before he deserted and formed his own rebel group, named the M23 movement. Started in 2012, Ntaganda carried out ethnic cleansing of the Lendu community in the DRC.
Reports from the ground in 2012 say that Ntaganda’s troops raided villages, killing everyone, and selectively targeting women and children, who were found disemboweled or with their heads smashed in. The Court had consulted 2,123 victims of Ntaganda and his fighters, many of whom were child soldiers under Ntaganda’s command. Those witnesses say Ntaganda expressly ordered mass killings and rapes, tortures, and forced child soldiers into his command.
The Court found him guilty of all 18 charges, a judgment that was well received by the Lendu community. A spokesman for the Lendu told reporters the community hopes “that the courts give the victims their rights back, and that the courts compensate them for Ntaganda’s crimes.”