Convicted Congo warlord faces life imprisonment

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Thomas Lubanga

Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga faces life imprisonment following his conviction on Wednesday by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says he will ask the court to jail Lubanga for at least 30 years, which is the maximum allowed by the ICC for war crimes.

Lubanga was found guilty of recruiting child soldiers in Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2002 and 2003.

Mr Ocampo said the guilty verdict was a victory for international justice and praised the courage and determination of former child soldiers, whom he said had to relive painful memories for the sake of justice during the trial.

"If we are going to ask for one year per child we should go far beyond the maximum of 30 years established by the statute. We will seek a sentence close to the maximum. Like Thomas Lubanga, most of our witnesses are members of the Hema community. They are considered by many traitors. They risked their lives to tell the judges their painful experiences. We admire their courage. And we show appreciation for what they have done for justice."

Mr Ocampo said he will be travelling to the DR Congo to press for the arrest of another former warlord Bosco Ntaganda who is also facing war crimes charges at the ICC.

Ntaganda remains at large but is reported to hold a senior position in the Congolese defense forces.

Duration: 39"

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