Lubanga charged with war crimes 30 Aug 2006
On 28 August 2006, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the former leader of a militia group in the DRC, was formally charged with three counts of war crimes.

Thomas Lubanga DyiloThomas Lubanga Dyilo, the former leader of a militia group that was active in the North-Eastern Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been formally charged by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He has been charged with three counts of war crimes: enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities.

Lubanga, who is of Hema-Gegere ethnicity, is the President of the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) and was the Commander-in-Chief of its military wing, the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC). In the Document Containing the Charges, it is alleged that the UPC, under the direction of Lubanga, aimed to establish Hema dominance and control in Ituri by military means and by way of violence. It is alleged that Lubanga, in order to achieve the aims of the UPC, defined a strategy to engage in armed conflict against non-Hema militias, in particular the Lendu militia, and to spread violence amongst the Lendu civilians and civilian members of other ethnic groups associated with the Lendu in Ituri.

During the second half of 2002 and throughout 2003, the FPLC repeatedly conducted large-scale military operations in Ituri and in these military operations, the FPLC repeatedly used children under the age of 15 years to participate actively in hostilities. It is alleged that, in his leadership position, Lubanga played an overall role in the FPLC's policy to recruit and enlist children under the age of 15 and provided the organisational, infrastructural and logistical framework for its implementation.

The date for a Confirmation of Charges hearing will be set following a Status Conference which is due to take place on 26 September 2006. At the Confirmation of Charges hearing itself, Lubanga and his counsel can challenge and contest the charges. At the close of this hearing, if the Pre-Trial Chamber decides that there is sufficient evidence to support the charges, the case will proceed to trial.

Press release

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