Congolese warlord appears before the ICC

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Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda has appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague where he was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The crimes are alleged to have been committed in the Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2002 and 2003.

Mr. Ntaganda has been on the run since he was indicted by the ICC in 2006.

He surrendered to the ICC in Kigali, Rwanda, a week ago.

During today's hearing, Mr Ntaganda was not required to plead to the charges which were read out by an ICC court official.

"Pre-trial chamber 1 concluded that there were reasonable ground to believe that Mr. Bosco Ntaganda is criminally liable for the following war crimes: the war crime for the enlistment of children under the age of 15 and having them participate actively in hostilities; murder, rape and sexual slavery attacks against the civilian population, pillaging constituting a war crime."

The next hearing would be on 23 September 2013.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

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