Int’l court judges award $30M to Congolese warlord’s victims

National & World News

FILE – In this Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Congolese militia commander Bosco Ntaganda enters the courtroom of the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to hear the sentence in his trial in The Hague, Netherlands. International Criminal Court judges on Monday March 8, 2021, awarded $30 million (25.3 million euros) in reparations to victims of crimes for which Congolese warlord Bosco Ntagand was convicted including child soldiers and victims of rape and sexual slavery. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — International Criminal Court judges on Monday awarded $30 million (25.3 million euros) in reparations to victims of crimes for which a Congolese warlord was convicted including child soldiers and victims of rape and sexual slavery.

Bosco Ntaganda, known as “The Terminator,” was convicted in 2019 on 18 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment for his role in atrocities during a bloody ethnic conflict in a mineral-rich region of Congo in 2002-2003. He has appealed his convictions and sentence.

Those eligible for reparations include direct and indirect victims of “crimes against child soldiers, of rape and sexual slavery, and children born out of rape and sexual slavery,” the court said in a statement.

Judges said they were “collective reparations with individualized components” for victims, with the number of eligible victims possibly topping 100,000.

The panel of judges said that Ntaganda was liable for the reparations, but added that he is “indigent for the purposes of reparations” and urged the Trust Fund for Victims, an organization set up by the court’s Assembly of States Parties to help victims, to “complement the reparation awards” using its own funds and through additional fundraising efforts.

However, the court said that Ntaganda “remains liable” and said it will “continue exploring whether Mr. Ntaganda possesses any undiscovered assets and monitoring his financial situation.”

In a written statement, the trust fund called the ruling “an important step in responding to the long-lasting harm that victims in this case have suffered.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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