The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the conviction of a former Congolese warlord for child soldier recruitment charges.
Ban Ki-moon says the verdict in the trial of Thomas Lubanga—the first by the International Criminal Court—is an important step towards ensuring those who commit crimes against children in situations of armed conflict are brought to justice.
Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said that the UN chief want to see the international community continue its efforts to put an end to impunity.
/// Cue in:
On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court found Lubanga who headed a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, guilty of enlisting and conscripting children to fight in eastern DRC between 2002 and 2003.
In their ruling, the Judges said as the head of the FPLC rebel group, Lubanga was responsible for the voluntary or coerced recruitment of boys and girls below the age of 15 as child soldiers.
The judges said Lubanga had on several occasions made speeches in which he encouraged children to join the rebel group to provide security to the population.
The ruling was read out by Judge Adrian Fulford.
/// Cue in:
The UN expert on children and armed conflict, Radhika Choomaraswamy welcomed the conviction of former warlord.
Coomaraswamy says the International Criminal Court verdict will be a strong deterrent for those who train children to kill, rape and plunder.
# # #