Judges at the International Criminal Court have found former Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers.
Ntaganda, nicknamed “Terminator”, was convicted on 18 counts for acts committed while he was military operations chief at the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002-2003.
But his lawyers argued that Ntaganda had sought to maintain discipline among his troops, punishing those that violated rules of war.
Ntaganda, who will be sentenced at a later hearing, is the fourth person convicted by the ICC since its creation in 2002. He has 30 days to appeal against the convictions.
The 46-year-old former rebel has been involved in numerous armed conflicts in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A ICC warrant for Ntaganda’s arrest was first issued in 2006, and he turned himself in at the U.S. Embassy in neighbouring Rwanda in 2013.
Ntaganda’s boss, UPC leader Thomas Lubanga, is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence after his conviction at the ICC. The court has also convicted one of their wartime opponents, Germain Katanga.