The trial against Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague is a victory for victims, their families, and human rights activists across eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The ICC issued its first sealed arrest warrant against Ntaganda in 2006, but he evaded justice and continued to command troops responsible for atrocities until his surrender in 2013.
Ntaganda will respond to 13 counts of war crimes and 5 counts of crimes against humanity, for murder and attempted murder, attacks against civilians, rape and sexual slavery, the recruitment and use of child soldiers, pillaging, and persecution in northeastern Congo’s Ituri district in 2002 and 2003.
In 2012 and 2013, the office of the prosecutor expanded the charges against Ntaganda, which initially only included the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The new set of charges against Ntaganda is more representative of the grave crimes that he and troops under his command allegedly committed in Ituri, and it will open the door to justice for other victims.