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Two DRC war criminals released

Two former Congolese warlords have been released after serving sentences for war crimes which were issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The two warlords, Germain Katanga and Thomas Lubanga were found guilty of war crimes. Lubanga was found to have enlisted child soldiers under the age of 15 during a conflict in the Congo’s northeastern Ituri region which lasted from 1993 to 2003 and killed thousands of people. He was placed on trial in 2009 and sentenced in 2012 being was the first person arrested under the ICC. Katanga was sentenced to 12 years in prison for war crimes in an attack in the region in 2003 which led to 200 people killed.

The release of these two war criminals follows escalating violence in the region, as the New Straits Times reports that over 700 civilians, mostly of the Hema ethnicity, have been killed in Ituri since 2017.

Read more from the New Straits Times.