After opening statements by both the defense and the prosecution, the first witness took the stand today at Thomas Lubanga’s trial at the ICC in the Hague. From the Associated Press:
A former Congolese child soldier told a landmark International Criminal Courthe was in the fifth grade of primary school in the town of Fataki, eastern Congo, when he was involuntarily recruited.trial Wednesday that armed troops plucked him off the street on his way home from school and sent him to a military camp. The witness, whose name and age were not released, told the
Lubanga is charged with “enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15” into his militia and “using them to participate actively in hostilities. Specifically:
Prosecutors accuse Lubanga of recruiting hundreds of children into his militia and sending them to fight and die in brutal conflicts in the Ituri region of eastern Congo in 2002-2003.
He has denied the charges and has pleaded not-guilty.
Check out Chris Michael’s blog at the Hub: Video for Change: Bringing a Warlord to Justice. Great resource for following the trial.