by Daniel Howden and Steve Bloomfield
A Congolese warlord accused of recruiting child soldiers is set to make
history by becoming the first person to be tried by the International
The Hague-based court ruled yesterday there was enough evidence to put
Thomas Lubanga, in the dock for recruiting children as young as 10 to fight
on the frontline of a war for the control of gold, diamonds and timber in
the vast Democratic Republic of Congo. . . .
Mr Lubanga's trial brings an end to a four-year struggle to establish a
permanent war crimes court to replace the ad hoc tribunals that have been
used to prosecute war criminals in Sierra Leone, the former Yugoslavia and
Rwanda. The United States fiercely opposed the creation of the ICC, fearing
its soldiers and citizens would be the target of what it claimed would be
politically motivated prosecutions. But despite Washington's refusal to
ratify the international treaty creating the court, 104 countries have
signed up and the ICC is now investigating war crimes in Congo, Rwanda and
the Sudanese province of Darfur. The court has already issued warrants for
members of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda and is
investigating alleged war crimes in Darfur. . . .
Ian Black and Ewen MacAskill, "U.S.
Threatens to Boycott Belgium Over War Crimes Law," Guardian, June
Marc Lacey, "Since '94 Horror,
Rwandans Turn Toward Islam," New York Times, April 7, 2004
Robert Fisk, "Trial of the
Century," Independent, July 1, 2004
Enver Masud, "Sudan, Oil, and the
Darfur Crisis," The Wisdom Fund, August 7, 2004
David Leigh and David Pallister, "The New Scramble For Africa,"
Guardian, June 1, 2005
Zack Pelta-Heller, "Flight of the Child
Soldiers," AlterNet, May 19, 2006