Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda transferred to Belgium to serve prison sentence

Bosco Ntaganda was sentenced to 30 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in 2019. The sentence was upheld on appeal last year. The Congolese warlord has now been transferred to Belgium to serve his prison sentence.

The ICC said in a statement that he had been transferred and arrived in Belgium to serve his prison sentence at Leuze-en-Hainaut prison. "The ICC relies on the support of states to enforce his sentences and deeply appreciates the voluntary cooperation of the Belgian government in this case," ICC registrar Peter Lewis said in the statement.

Ntaganda, 49, nicknamed 'Terminator', was convicted for atrocities he committed in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the early 2000s: five crimes against humanity and 13 war crimes, including murder, sexual slavery, rape and the use of child soldiers.

Ntaganda is the first person convicted of sexual slavery by the ICC, which confirmed his 30-year sentence on appeal last year. This was the longest sentence ever handed down by the court. The judges had called Bosco Ntaganda's role in the crimes committed by his troops in 2002 and 2003 in Ituri, in northeastern DRC, crucial.

A general in the DRC army from 2007 to 2012, Ntaganda later became a founding member of the rebel group M23, which was eventually defeated by DRC government forces in 2013.

According to NGOs, more than 60,000 people have died in the volatile, mineral-rich region since the violence began in 1999.


Former Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court prior to the verdict. He is accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2002 and in 2003.

© ANP POLE Peter de Jong


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