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You are here: Home The Trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo at the International Criminal Court

The Trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo at the International Criminal Court

Cinema for Peace Campaign "Stop the Use of Child Soldiers"
The Trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo at the International Criminal Court

The ICC found Lubanga guilty of war crimes

 

The trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is the first ever trial before the International Criminal Court, and marks a fundamental step in the fight against impunity.

Congo surrendered Lubanga to the ICC in March 2006, making him the first suspect taken into custody since the tribunal was established in 2002 as a court of last resort for alleged high ranking perpetrators of atrocities in countries unable or unwilling to prosecute them.

Prosecutors say Lubanga led the Union of Congolese Patriots political group and commanded its armed wing, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo, which recruited children – sometimes by force, other times voluntarily – into its ranks to fight in a brutal ethnic conflict.

"A guilty verdict in the case will send a powerful signal to all those who recruit and use child soldiers around the world," said Prof. Michael Scharf, director of the International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. "It will make it clear that the use of children under age 15 as soldiers is a serious war crime."

On the occasion of the final statement in the trial in late August, the Cinema for Peace Foundation started a petition in order to "Stop the Use of Child Soldiers". In the petition all UN member states are asked to denounce the use of child soldiers and combat the use of sexual violence during wartime, as well as make efforts to ensure that schools and hospitals are not targeted during armed attacks.

The petition was inaugurated by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, the former child soldiers Ishmael Beah (author), Emmanuel Jal (musician) and Kon Kelei (lawyer), as well as the  and UN Under Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy.

We monitor a list of shame with the UN Security Council and have secured 13 further countries to sign the Optional Protocol” Coomaraswamy said in her speech. This is another step forward to stop the use of child soldiers which has to be continued by further missing states signing the Optional Protocol.

Lubanga has pleaded innocent to charges of using child soldiers to fight in eastern Congo in 2002-2003. For more information on the trial against Thomas Lubanga, we recommend you to watch the following  video.

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The Trial of Thomas Lubanga

War Lord Thomas Lubanga found guilty

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