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Ex-Congolese rebel chief appeals ICC’s jail sentence

Former Congolese rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, will appeal the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) 30-year sentence, issued on Thursday, for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ntaganda was leading figure for the Union of Congolese Patriots and its militia, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) during the conflict in the early 2000s. Specifically, his charges related to his conduct from 2002-2003, in the mineral-rich region of Ituri. Ntaganda is subject to 18 charges includes crimes of sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers. He is also charged with ordering his soldiers to massacre civilians. He has been nicknamed the “Terminator”.

His legal defence has maintained that the court’s ruling “contains many errors of law and fact”, insisting that they will appeal this decision. His defence has also insisted that he has been unfairly represented by the “the trial judgement and sentencing judgement”. He maintains that the nickname “Terminator” does not describe him.

Al Jazeera notes that Ntaganda is one of the five Congolese figures brought before the court and was the fourth sentenced. Thomas Lubanga, his former commander, was given a jail sentence of 14 years in 2012. 

This trial follows a setback for the ICC with Ivory Coast former leader Laurent Gbagbo being released free of charge earlier this year due to lack of evidence.

Read Al Jazeera’s piece here.