Congolese Warlord Thomas Lubanga Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison
The International Criminal Court has condemned the Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubunga to 14 years in prison on Tuesday after being found guilty of abducting children, some as young as 11, and sending them to fight in his Union of Congolese Patriots (UCP) militia in Congo's eastern Ituri region in 2002 and 2003.
The 51-year-old is the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Court, sitting in The Hague, Netherlands, with presiding Judge Adrian Fulford saying the sentence reflected the need to protect children in wartime.
Lubunga, convicted in March, abducted children, training boys in military training camps and forcing them to fight, while girls allegedly served as sex slaves.
He led the UCP, an ethnic Hema militia, active in the war which began as a struggle over control of the gold-rich land in the Ituri region and its main town of Bunia, in 1999.
According to Judge Fulford, since Lubanga has spent the last 6 years in prison, he is expected to serve only 8 out of the 14 year prison sentence.