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The mission of Child Soldier Relief Foundation (CSR), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization designated by the Internal Revenue Code, is to advocate on behalf of child soldiers by serving as a central repository of information on all topics relating to the topic of child soldiers.

Lubanga Trial: Week 4 in Review

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

On Monday, February 16, the trial resumed with the testimony of an unnamed witness, who identified Lubanga in a video giving a speech to a group of soldiers and recruits.  The witness stated, “The youngest [child soldiers] were perhaps nine or ten years old,” he said. “The oldest were adults.”

When asked by the Prosecution on Tuesday if the UPC demanded money or other contributions, including children as soldiers, from the public, the witness stated that he “couldn’t know.”

In a video shown on Wednesday, Lubanga was shown in an interview with a British journalist in which Lubanga denies using child soldiers.  Later in the video, however, while at Lubanga’s camp the journalist spots a child dressed in fatigues and estimates the child’s age as 11 or 12.

On Thursday, most of the trial was conducted in closed-session, but while in open-session the Defense crossed-examined the witness and asked him about a military song children are seen singing in a video welcoming Lubanga to their village.

The week ended with the testimony of a former child soldier, who said that he was conscripted to the UPC after completing the 4th grade. The witness described being captured by UPC soldiers, beaten when he was captured a second and third time after escaping, the type of gun he was given and why he chose to testify in court. “I took the decision the come here because of the evil he [Lubanga] has done,” he continued. “It is said that everything has a beginning and an end. That is what I wanted to add.” 

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

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