ICC Rejects Appeal by Bosco Ntaganda

Kamilla Sorskar Engen, International Law and Affairs Officer

30 Mar 2021

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has upheld the conviction of Congolese rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, known as ‘The Terminator’.

In November 2019, Ntaganda was handed a 30-year prison sentence for 18 war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers - the longest sentence in ICC history. He was convicted based on his position as rebel commander of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) armed group, for brutalities committed in the mineral-rich northeastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002-03. During the conflict, the UPC (comprised mostly of the Hema clan) killed hundreds of civilians and forced thousands to flee, mainly targeting rival Lendu people, in the course of fighting against other militias for control over minerals in Ituri province.

On 30 March, the appeals panel, comprised of five judges, rejected all 15 challenges to Ntaganda’s conviction, in addition to upholding his 30-year sentence. Earlier in March, the ICC also ordered a record €25.3 million ($30 million) in reparations for potentially over 100,000 eligible victims.