The International Criminal Court on Monday convicted a notorious rebel commander known as “The Terminator” of 18 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, rape and sexual slavery for his role in atrocities in a bloody ethnic conflict in a mineral-rich region of Congo in 2002-2003.
He becomes the first person convicted of sexual slavery by the ICC.
Bosco Ntaganda, who maintained his innocence during his trial, faces a maximum life sentence following his convictions at the global court. He showed no emotion as Presiding Judge Robert Fremr passed judgment.
A separate hearing will be scheduled to determine his sentence. Ntaganda has 30 days to appeal.
The 46-year-old former rebel has been involved in numerous armed conflicts in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
Analysts said it was an act of self-preservation, motivated by the danger he was in after losing a power-struggle within his M23 rebel group.
The soft-spoken Ntaganda known for his pencil moustache and a penchant for fine dining, on his own part told judges during his trial that he was “soldier not a criminal” and that the “Terminator” nickname did not apply to him.
The Congolese rebel who surrendered at the US embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013, is the fourth person to be convicted by the ICC since its creation in 2002.