UN child rights expert welcomes Lubanga conviction

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Radhika Coomaraswamy

The UN expert on children and armed conflict has welcomed the conviction of former warlord Thomas Lubanga for recruiting child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Radhika Coomaraswamy says the International Criminal Court (ICC) verdict will be a strong deterrent for those who train children to kill, rape and plunder.

Charles Appel reports.

"Today, impunity ends for Thomas Lubanga and those who recruit and use children in armed conflict."

That message comes from Radhika Coomeraswamy, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, in response to Wednesday's ruling by the ICC.

Lubanga and his men enlisted hundreds of children to fight for the rebel group FPLC during the Ituri conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2002 and 2003.

Ms. Coomaraswamy hopes the Court will also provide reparations to his victims.

She says while their childhood had been stolen forever, she hopes that with the verdict they will be able to move on with their lives.

Charles Appel, United Nations Radio.

Duration:  43″

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