Johannesburg - The war crimes conviction of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda, whose fighters disembowelled babies and smashed their heads in, is "long-awaited justice", Amnesty International said on Monday.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted 45-year-old Ntaganda of war crimes and crimes against humanity even though his lawyers had argued that the accused was a victim, having also been recruited as a child soldier.
Ntaganda, who became the fourth person convicted by the ICC since its creation in 2002, surrendered at the US embassy in in the DRC in 2013.
Commenting on the ICC verdict, Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa said: “We can only hope that today’s verdict provides some consolation to those affected by the grotesque crimes perpetrated by Ntaganda and paves the way for his victims and their families to finally obtain a measure of justice and reparations.”
Nyanyuki added: “Every day of the seven years that Ntaganda freely roamed the streets of Goma after the International Criminal Court issued his arrest warrant increased the torment that the victims and their families had to endure - to the shame of DRC authorities and the international community.