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Witness Explains Structure of UPC

The structure and hierarchy of Thomas Lubanga’s political party, the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), was described by a former member who testified today in Lubanga’s trial at the International Criminal Court.

Speaking in Swahili with his voice distorted to protect his identity, the witness told the court that he joined the Lubanga’s UPC in 2002, and that by the time he left in August of 2003, he was the head of its military section.

The witness told the court that the chief of staff of the UPC’s military was Floribert Kisembo, and his only superior was Lubanga, president of the UPC.

The witness said the UPC was split into divisions dealing with administration, intelligence, operations, logistics (including ammunition and food), public relations, and morale issues.

The witness told the court that Bosco Ntaganda was the head of G-3, a UPC division that dealt with operations. Ntaganda has been indicted by the ICC and remains at large.

When asked about his specific role and duties within the UPC, the witness refused to answer, saying that information might reveal his identity, and would not discuss the matter in a public session.

Throughout the day, significant portions of the testimony were given in closed session.