Child Soldier Relief


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Lubanga Trial: Week 3 in Review

The following post was created by Kate Davey through sourcing from the reporting of Rachel Irwin for

The trial resumed on February 9th with the final day of the cross-examination of the father of the child soldier who recanted his testimony the week before.  The next day, the child solider, who recanted his testimony, took the stand as the next witness.

Although Lubanga was in the Court while the witness was testifying, the witness, who was given the pseudonym Dieumerci, was “shielded from Lubanga’s direct view.”

Dieumerci described being kidnapped and beaten by Lubanga’s men as well as an ambush against a Catholic mission: “We went to the mission and killed those there, also the priests … We cut their mouths off and destroyed their faces.” 

On Wednesday, February 11th, after seeing the next witness to testify, identified in Court as number 41, Lubanga sat forward, covered his eyes with his hands and then walked out of the Courtroom.  The trial resumed the next day with the testimony of the witness known as number 41, who was identified in Court as a “former high-ranking official” in the UPC. 

He stated that as President of the UPC, Lubanga had many child soldiers as body guards and that in the spring 2003 and in order to pacify the United Nations, “the president [Lubanga] read out a decree demobilizing child soldiers.” 

On Friday, the defense questioned the witness’s ability to know that the soldiers they conscripted were under the age of 15 and the witness noted: “It’s very difficult [to tell].”  

The age of the soldiers is important to the case because Lubanga has been charged with the conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 to join the UPC.

The trial will resume on Monday.

Filed under: Congo, Human Rights, Intl Criminal Ct, , , , , ,

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