BBC NEWS (UK), JEUNE AFRIQUE (France)

Worldcrunch

THE HAGUE - Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga was sentenced to 14 years in jail on Tuesday by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for recruting and using child soldiers, some younger than 15, from 2002 to 2003. The sentence is the first to be handed out by the ICC since it started working a decade ago.

Fifty-one year-old Lubanga was convicted of war crimes in March for his role in the civil war in Ituri, a northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where ethnic conflict has killed an estimated 60,000 people since 1999. The BBC reports that Lubanga showed no emotion as he was sentenced.

Prosecution had requested a harsher sentence of 30 years in prison. ICC Judge Adrian Fulford praised the former militia leader for his cooperation and conduct during the trial, turning instead to criticize former prosecutor Luis Moreno Occampo, Jeune Afrique reports. Fulford said Occampo did not give evidence to support erroneous claims and allowed his staff to mislead the press, according to the BBC.

Lubanga was the leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots, an ethnic Hema milita, and of its military wing. The sentence was seen by human rights activists as a victory for international justice.

But Lubanga was arrested in Kinshasa in March 2005, and the years of prison he has served up until now will be deducted from his sentence, prompting some Twitter users to criticize the decision.

Others referenced the criticism that the ICC focuses too much on crimes in Africa and not in the rest of the world.

Lubanga, who had pleaded not guilty, has 30 days to appeal the decision. Unrest continues in the DRC as rebel forces led by General Bosco Ntaganda - an ally of Lubanga who is also wanted for war crimes by the ICC - advance towards the country's main eastern city of Goma.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

REvil Bust: Is Russian Cybercrime Crackdown Just A Decoy From Ukraine?

This weekend’s unprecedented operation to dismantle the cybercriminal REvil network in Russia was carried out on a request and information from Washington. Occurring just as the two countries face off over the Russian threat to invade Ukraine raises more questions than it answers.

Kyiv blamed Russia for another cyber-attack that knocked out key Ukrainian government websites last week

Cameron Manley

The world’s attention was gripped last week by the rising risk of war at the Russia-Ukraine border, and what some have called the worst breakdown in relations between Moscow and Washington since the end of the Cold War. Yet by the end of the week, another major story was unfolding more quietly across Russia that may shed light on the high-stakes geopolitical maneuvering.

By Friday night, Russian security forces had raided 25 addresses in St. Petersburg, Moscow and several other regions south of the capital in an operation to dismantle the notorious REvil group, accused of some of the worst cyberattacks in recent years to hit targets in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West.

And by Saturday, Russian online media Interfax was reporting that the FSB Russian intelligence services revealed that it had in fact been the U.S. authorities who had informed Russia "about the leaders of the criminal community and their involvement in attacks on the information resources of foreign high-tech companies.”

Keep reading... Show less
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS
MOST READ