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Hague court issues its first guilty verdict against Congo warlord Lubanga

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Human Rights Watch said that the Lubanga verdict should be a warning to other military commanders, including Lubanga's own co-accused, Bosco Ntaganda, who is currently a general in the Congo Army in Goma. 

“The verdict against Lubanga is a victory for the thousands of children forced to fight in Congo’s brutal wars,” said Géraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, international justice advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “Military commanders in Congo and elsewhere should take notice of the ICC’s powerful message: using children as a weapon of war is a serious crime that can lead them to the dock.”

Don Kraus, chief executive officer of Citizens for Global Solutions, greeted the decision, saying in a statement, “Lubanga’s guilty verdict is a landmark moment in the short history of the Court. For the first time in the history of humanity, nations have come together and established a permanent means of holding tyrants and human rights abusers accountable, while providing a fair system of justice, even for the most heinous crimes. This is how we build a safer, more secure world.” 

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