International Criminal Court (ICC) 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.
Gen 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.”
On March 18, 2013, Ntaganda reportedly walked into the US embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, handing himself over for prosecution. He would later be moved to The Hague.