Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations and Commander of Operations of the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo, FPLC)
Allegations & Charges
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) alleges that Bosco Ntaganda was the Chief of Staff for Military Operations (December 2003 to 2005/2006) and the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations (September 2002 to December 2003) of the Union des Patriotes Congolais’s (UPC) military branch the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC). The OTP alleges that, though the UPC had a previously operating military wing, the UPC established the FPLC in September 2002, with Thomas Lubanga Dyilo as FPLC Commander‐in‐Chief, Floribert Kisembo as FPLC Chief of Staff, and Mr. Ntaganda as FPLC Deputy Chief of Staff. Mr. Ntaganda was in charge of developing and implementing military strategies, enlisting and training FPLC fighters, and issuing orders to FPLC fighters and disciplining noncompliance with his orders.
From 2002 to 2003, Mr. Ntaganda, as alleged by the OTP, armed and ordered FPLC forces to do the following: to murder civilians that were non-Hema (the Lendus, the Biras, and the Nandes) and those that supported the non-Hema (moderate Hemas) with the express purpose of evicting the non-Hema from the Ituri region; in particular, to target and murder the Lendus and drive them out of the Ituri region; to enlist children as forced fighters, bodyguards, escorts, and other armed personnel for FPLC forces, with female children fighters subject to rape and sexual violence by FPLC fighters; to rape and inflict sexual violence against men, women, and children as both a method of subjugating the local populace and rewarding FPLC fighters; and to destroy and pillage property. Mr. Ntaganda personally, as alleged by the OTP, did the following: murdered civilians and prisoners; with his bodyguards, abducted Lendu nuns and instructed his bodyguards to rape the nuns; pillaged homes, shops, churches, and hospitals for property for his own personal use; and enlisted children as forced fighters. Mr. Ntaganda also armed and instructed civilians to murder the Lendus.
Please visit the Court’s website for more information on The Prosecutor v. Ntaganda.
The Accused is charged under a number of different modes of liability outlined in the Rome Statute:
Committing atrocity crimes as an individual, jointly with another or through another person (Article 25(3)(a))
Ordering, soliciting, or inducing the commission of these crimes (Article 25(3)(b))
Intentionally contributing to the commission or attempted commission of atrocity crimes by a group, with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or purpose of the perpetrators (Article 25(3)(d)(i)), and with knowledge of the perpetrators’ intention to commit these crimes (Article 25(3)(d)(ii))
Having effective command and control over forces that committed these crimes, failing to exercise control properly, knowing or should have known that the forces committed or were about to commit these crimes (Article 28(a)(i)), and failing to take all necessary and reasonable steps to prevent or repress these crimes or submit them to competent authorities for investigation and prosecution (Article 28(a)(ii))
Under these modes of criminal liability, the Accused is charged with the following atrocity crimes:
Murder (Crime against Humanity): Article 7(1)(a)
Sexual Slavery (Crime against Humanity): Article 7(1)(g)-2
Rape (Crime against Humanity): Article 7(1)(g)-1
Persecution (Crime against Humanity): Article 7(1)(h)
Forcible Transfer (Crime against Humanity): Article 7(1)(d)
Rape of Child Soldiers (War Crime): Article 8(2)(e)(vi)-1
Sexual Slavery of Child Soldiers (War Crime): Article 8(2)(e)(vi)-2
Enlisting Child Soldiers (War Crime): Article 8(2)(e)(vii)
Murder (War Crime): Article 8(2)(c)(i)
Attacks against Civilians (War Crime): Article 8(2)(b)(i)
Rape (War Crime): Article 8(2)(b)(xxii)-1
Sexual Slavery (War Crime): Article 8(2)(b)(xxii)-2
Pillaging (War Crime): Article 8(2)(b)(xvi)
Forcible Transfer (War Crime): Article 8(2)(b)(viii)
Attacks against Protected Objects (War Crime): Article 8(2)(e)(iv)
Destruction of Property (War Crime): Article 8(2)(a)(iv)
Destroying the Enemy’s Property (War Crime): Article 8(2)(e)(xii)
Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a sealed arrest warrant for Ntaganda on August 22, 2006, which was unsealed on April 28, 2008, and Pre-Trial Chamber II issued a second public warrant on July 13, 2012. Ntaganda entered ICC custody on March 22, 2013. Charges were confirmed against him on June 9, 2014. The trial in this case opened on September 2, 2015 before Trial Chamber VI.
On July 8, 2019, Trial Chamber VI found Ntaganda guilty (summary) of committing 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity both as a direct perpetrator and indirect perpetrator. He was convicted of various war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, attempted murder, rape, sexual slavery, persecution, conscripting and enlisting child soldiers, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, directing attacks against protected objects, pillage, destruction of adversaries’ property, forcible transfer of population and displacement, in Ituri, DRC in 2002-2003 through his role in the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) and its military wing, the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC).
Ntaganda was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment on November 7, 2019.
On March 8, 2021, Trial Chamber IV issued a reparations order for victims of Ntaganda’s crimes, to be The Court ordered collective reparations with individualized components based on the multi-faceted harms suffered by many victims, including a large number of unidentified victims, to be implemented by the Trust Fund for Victims. Over 2,000 victims participated in the Ntaganda trial.
On March 30, 2021, the ICC Appeals Chamber confirmed, by majority, the Trial Chamber’s decision and the sentencing judgment. Ntaganda’s conviction and sentence are final.
More on the Ntaganda trial (non-ABA resources):
ICC Case Information Sheet
Ntaganda Trial Monitoring from International Justice Monitor
Human Rights Watch, Q&A: Bosco Ntaganda, DR Congo, and the ICC
- Initial Appearance : March 26, 2013