Bosco Ntaganda: a rebel leader who has been active in numerous armed groups in eastern Congo for the past two decades. From 2002 to 2005, Ntaganda served under Thomas Lubanga as chief of military operations for the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC).
Judges of Trial Chamber VI
- Judge Robert Fremr (Presiding)
- Judge Kuniko Ozaki
- Judge Chang-ho Chung
The Defense for Bosco Ntaganda
- Stéphane Bourgon
- Luc Boutin
Legal Representatives of the Victims
- Sarah Pellet
- Dmytro Suprun
- Peter Lewis, Registrar
Key Groups and Organizations
- The Hema: The ethnic group whose interests were purportedly represented by the Rwandan-backed UPC armed group, where Ntaganda served as chief of military operations under Thomas Lubanga.
- The Lendu: The ethnic group whose interests were purportedly represented by both the FRPI and FNI militias. Both groups received support from the Ugandan government.
Ituri-based Armed Groups
- APC: Congolese Popular Army (Armeé Populaire Congolaise), the armed wing of the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Kisangani (Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie-Kisangani/Mouvement de Liberation).
- FAPC: The People’s Armed Forces of Congo (Forces Armées Populaire du Congo), an armed group comprising a mix of ethnic groups.
- FPDC: The Popular Force for Democracy in Congo (Force Populaire pour la Démocratie du Congo), an armed group comprised of ethnic Alur and Lugbara.
- FNI: The Nationalist and Integrationist Front (Front des nationalistes et intégrationnistes), an ethnic Lendu armed group closely linked to the FPRI that reportedly received support from Uganda in its operations against the Rwandan-backed, ethnic Hema UPC. Its alleged leader, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, was acquitted of ICC charges in December 2012.
- FPLC: The Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo (Forces Patriotiques pour la libération du Congo), the armed wing of the UPC.
- FPRI: The Ituri Patriotic Resistance Force (Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri), an armed group closely linked to the FNI and comprised of ethnic Ngiti, a sub-group of the Lendu. It also received support from Uganda in its operations against the Rwandan-backed, ethnic Hema UPC. The ICC convicted FPRI general, Germain Katanga in May 2014.
- PUSIC: Party for Unity and Safeguarding the Integrity of Congo, a Hema breakaway group from the UPC.
- RCD: Rally for Congolese Democracy, an armed group formed with the backing of the Rwandan and Ugandan governments in order to depose Laurent Désiré-Kabila. The RCD splintered into various armed groups, including the RCD-Goma, RCD-Kisangani, the RCD-Movement for Liberation, and the RCD-National.
- RPA: Rwandan Patriotic Army, the Rwanda government army (since then renamed Rwanda Defence Forces, RDF), which deployed in Congo. Ntaganda fought with the RPA when it was a Uganda-backed rebel group before it captured power in Rwanda in 1994.
- UPC: Union of Congolese Patriots (Union des Patriotes Congolais), a predominantly Hema/Gegere armed group led by Lubanga and Ntaganda.
- FARDC: The national Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
- Joseph Kabila: Current president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the son of Laurent Kabila.
- Laurent Kabila: Former President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and father of Joseph Kabila. Laurent was assassinated in 2001.
- UPDF: Ugandan People’s Defense Force, Uganda’s national army. The UPDF backed a number of armed groups to further the Ugandan government’s strategic interests, ultimately aggravating the conflict in eastern DRC.
- MONUC: The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, present in the region from 2000 to 2010. It was originally created to oversee the implementation of the July 1999 ceasefire agreement between DRC and neighboring countries. In July 2010, MONUC was renamed the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and given an expanded mandate to protect civilians, humanitarian personnel, and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation effort.
Key Individuals Referred to in the Trial
- Floribert Kisembo Bahemuka: The Chief of Staff of the FPLC whom Ntaganda deputized. He joined the national army, FARDC, in 2005 but was later killed by government forces in 2011 as he reportedly organized a rebellion. He was never indicted by the ICC.
- Thomas Lubanga: The president of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and commander-in-chief of the FPLC. Lubanga is serving a 14-year jail term at the International Criminal Court over the recruitment, enlistment, and use of children under the age of 15 years in armed conflict.
- Kahwa Panga Mandro: A local Hema chief who was a senior UPC member and commander of the Mandro camp where prosecutors say child soldiers were trained. He broke away to found the Party for Unity and Safeguarding of the Integrity of Congo (PUSIC).
- John Tinanzabo: Former general secretary of the UPC and its interim president. He is also a member of parliament in the DRC.
- Salumu Mulenda: A senior FPLC commander who allegedly urged the group’s soldiers to fight and pillage everything, including women. He also allegedly ordered execution of civilians.
- Commander Simba: A senior UPC/FPLC officer who is alleged to have personally killed several civilians rounded up by his fighters and to have raped Lendu women.
Geographical Terms That Could be Referred to in the Trial
- Kinshasa: The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, located on its western border.
- Ituri: A district in the Orientale Province in northeastern DRC that was made an independent province in 1999. It is bordered by Uganda to the east and Sudan to the north. Ituri is composed of five territories sub-divided into collectivités, which are in turn divided into groupements and villages.
- Bunia: A city in Ituri that served as FPLC headquarters.
- Mandro, Rwampara, and Bule: Locations of the UPC training camps.
- Bunia, Tchomia, Kasenyi, and Bogoro: Locations where children were deployed to take part in in fighting.
- Banyali-Kilo, Walendu-Djatsi, and Jitchu Forest: Locations where militia commanded by Ntaganda allegedly pillaged and killed hundreds of civilians
- Mongbwalu, Kilo, Sayo, Pluto, Nzebi, Lipri, Kobu, Bambu, Sangi and Buli: Areas where militia commanded by Ntaganda reportedly committed crimes including rape, sexual slavery, and murder. Prosecutors claim Ntaganda personally shot the priest of Mongbwalu parish.
Witnesses for the Prosecution
- Witness P0805: This crime-based witness was the first to take the stand in Ntaganda’s trial. He recounted how UPC fighters convened a peace meeting with members of a rival ethnic group, the Lendu, near Mongbwalu town but arrested and later shot dead those who turned up. He testified with protective measures and gave a large part of his testimony in closed session.
- Witness P901: A former insider in the UPC, he testified about the ethnic mix of the group’s fighters, which he said excluded the Lendu community. He said there were attacks and counter-attacks by various ethnic militia groups. A part of his evidence was given in closed session.
- Roberto Garreton: A former Special Rapporteur for the United Nations Commission for Human Rights on human rights in the DRC, gave evidence on ethnic fighting in Ituri and other contextual issues relevant to the conflict. He was questioned for only one hour and then judges accepted into evidence the testimony that he previously gave in the trial of Thomas Lubanga.
- Witness P768: A former officer of the UPC, he provided most of his evidence in closed session and under the protective measures of a pseudonym with face and voice distortion.
- Witness P886: A crime-based witness, who said a Lendu militia conducted pillaging and brutalized civilians in Sayo town after UPC fighters left the area. Judges rejected a request to shield his face from public view after determining that such a measure was unnecessary. Judges also declined to distort the voice of the witness during his testimony, but they granted him the use of a pseudonym.
- Witness P039: Was called by prosecutors in October 2015 but declined to testify after he was informed that judges had granted him the use of a pseudonym but not distortion of his voice and image during public broadcasts of his testimony. His prior recorded testimony was provisionally admitted into evidence in January 2017.
- Witness P106: Crime-based witness, who testified that UPC troops shot dead his father, “decapitated” his wife and children, and killed numerous other civilians.
- Witness P010: She testified about her life as a child soldier in the UPC, Ntaganda’s role in committing atrocities, and the rape of child soldiers—including herself—by militia commanders. Defense lawyers said they would seek to impeach this witness.
- Witness P859: A crime-based witness, he recounted how Ntaganda ordered the execution of a UPC soldier who had shot dead a civilian in Mongbwalu town in 2002. The dead man was a brother to the witness. Testifying with full protective measures, the witness also said UPC fighters arrested a Catholic priest from Mongbwalu parish and killed him at their camp at the Kilo Moto buildings.
- Witness P790: A crime-based witness who testified with full protective measures, he recounted how he counted the bodies of 57 civilians, including children and women, who were killed by UPC soldiers in Kobu.
- Witness P017: A former member of the UPC militia, he testified that his colleagues executed about 20 women and children shortly after the fighters had killed an unnamed number of men. He also said that in the UPC there was a unit made up of kadogos, or young soldiers, all under 15 years.
- Witness P290: A former insider in UPC who testified with full protective measures and assurances from judges against self-incrimination during his evidence. He spoke about the presence of child soldiers in Ntaganda’s personal escort. Defense lawyers were unable to cross-examine this witness, arguing that they had not conducted sufficient investigations for their questioning of the former UPC insider.
- Witness P800: A crime-based witness, he testified with full protective measures and recalled daily attacks by the UPC fighters on Congolese villages occupied by the Lendu ethnic community. He said the besieged localities included Sayo, Kobu, Mongbwalu, and surrounding villages in Ituri.
- Witness P055: Testified with full protective measures and all of his evidence was heard in closed session.
- Witness P815: Testified that UPC soldiers looted from civilians and also pillaged “everything” from the health center in the town of Sayo. He said the UPC was made up of soldiers from the Hema ethnic group, and their hostilities were targeted at members of other groups, particularly the Lendu.
- Witness P963: A former member of the UPC militia, he testified that his fellow militiamen executed more than 40 civilians a day after they took them prisoner. He said the UPC fighters raped the female prisoners before killing them.
- Witness P892: A crime-based witness and the second female to testify against Ntaganda, she testified that she and her family had lived a life of suffering for a long time after falling victims to crimes committed by UPC fighters. Most of her evidence was heard in sessions closed to the public and she testified with full protective measures.
- Dr. John Yuille: A Canadian forensic psychologist who offered expert testimony on variations in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the factors that affect memory patterns among individuals who face trauma.
- Witness P907: An insider witness, he stated that commanders in the UPC provided guns to civilians and encouraged them to pillage towns that were predominantly populated by rival ethnic groups. He said whereas some civilians went on to loot and commit murders, they were not reprimanded by UPC commanders.
- Witness P887: The third female to testify at the trial, she was mostly questioned in closed session. She had full protective measures.
- Witness P190: An insider witness who recounted combat operations by troops led by Ntaganda in various towns. He said Ntaganda grabbed children from a boy’s primary school in the Muzipela neighborhood and conscripted them into his militia group. The witness, who had full protective measures, said he witnessed this event.
- Kristine Peduto: A former demobilization officer with the United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC) during 2002-2005, she spoke of demobilization efforts by UPC, and the presence of child soldiers in UPC and other militia groups.
- Witness P894: This crime-based witness gave all his evidence in closed session. His prior recorded statement, along with two sketches made by him, were entered into the case evidence record in their “entirety.”
- Witness P888: A former UPC insider, he claimed Ntaganda ordered recruits to “go from house to house, and if you find enemies, kill them.” This witness first testified on June 20, 2016, then judges recalled him on June 24 for further questioning, apparently on his school enrollment records.
- Anneke Van Woudenberg: The Deputy Director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) testified briefly in the trial, and her reports, which included accounts of victims of sexual violence perpetuated by all armed groups in Ituri – including the UPC, were admitted into evidence.
- Witness P877: A crime-based witness questioned almost entirely in closed session, including about crimes committed around Mongbwalu airport, Kilo town center, and Kobu. He testified with full protective measures.
- Witness P018: All of the evidence by this witness was heard in closed session. In addition to the use of a pseudonym and image and voice distortion, prosecutors described this witness as vulnerable and requiring regular breaks during her testimony. The witness was assisted in the courtroom by an official from the Victims and Witnesses Section.
- Witness P850: A crime-based witness, he testified about the origins of the conflict between the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups, said Lendu combatants killed Hema civilians who stayed in Mongbwalu town after it fell under their control, and recounted other crimes committed by a Lendu militia group.
- Maeve Lewis: An Irish expert in psychotherapy, she assessed four individuals who were reportedly raped by UPC troops in 2002 and 2003, and testified about the psychological harm suffered by the four individuals, who are prosecution witnesses.
- Witness P019: A crime-based witness who was taken hostage by UPC fighters, she testified how the group’s members brutalized members of a rival ethnic group that they considered “not human,” including “savagely” raping women and men. She testified with full protective measures.
- Witness P113: Was abducted and held in captivity by UPC fighters. She said UPC troops pillaged, torched houses, and kidnapped civilians.
- Witness P769: This witness served in the UPC and stated that some children served as military instructors at the group’s training camps.
- Dr. Derek Congram: A Canadian forensic archaeologist and anthropologist who testified about excavation and exhumation at sites where local residents said victims of mass murders by the UPC were buried.
- Dr. Arnoud Kal: A forensic scientist who provided expert testimony about the excavations and exhumations in Ituri.
- Adrien Sivignon: A crime scene photographer and exhibit manager who testified about the excavations and exhumations in Ituri.
- Dr. Lars Uhlin-Hansen: The Norwegian forensic pathologist testified about the autopsies conducted on 13 human remains in Ituri.
- Witness P100: A crime-based witness who gave nearly all his testimony in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Dr. Laurent Martrille: The French pathologist testified about his reports on autopsies of nine corpses exhumed in Ituri.
- Witness P105: A crime-based witness who gave nearly all his testimony in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness P014: Testified with full protective measures and mostly in closed session. He appears to have been a member of the UPC due to his knowledge of the group’s inner workings. He spoke about the ill-treatment of child soldiers in the group.
- Witness P127: Testified with full protective measures with much of his evidence heard in closed session.
- Dr. Sophie Gromb Monnoyeur: A professor of forensic medicine who heads a university hospital in France, she testified about her findings regarding the physical effects of trauma with respect to four prosecution witnesses (P018, P019, P108, and P113).
- Witness P668: Due to reasons not made public, this witness did not show up to testify at the time he was expected to take the stand in late September 2016.
- Witness P030: A former insider in UPC, he testified with full protective measures and stated that Ntaganda had bodyguards who were 12 to 14 years old.
- Witness P365: Gave the substance of her evidence in closed session. She testified with full protective measures.
- Witness P912: A crime-based witness, she testified mostly in closed session, so it was not clear what the focus of her evidence was. It was apparent, however, that she resided in Mongbwalu town during 2002. She testified with full protective measures.
- Witness P301: A crime-based witness who recounted the slaughter in August 2003 of an estimated 30 to 50 civilians in Kobu by UPC fighters. He testified with full protective measures.
- Witness P792: A crime-based witness who testified with full protective measures about UPC attacks on Mongbwalu in November 2002.
- Witness 976: Testified about sexual relations between commanders and female recruits in the UPC. It appears this individual served in the UPC. He testified with full protective measures.
- Witness 868: Evidence by this witness in November 2016 was heard in closed session. The witness had full protective measures. He reappeared before judged in December 2016, again with the hearing closed to the public.
- Witness 918: Evidence by this witness was heard in closed session. She had full protective measures.
- Witness 911: This insider witness testified in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness 758: This female, crime-based witness testified in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness P761: This witness testified in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness P012: A former insider, his prior recorded testimony was submitted into evidence after brief in-court questioning. The witness was granted full protective measures.
- Witness P300: This witness testified in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness 883: This witness gave all her testimony in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness P002: This witness who gave all his testimony in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness P121: This witness testified in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness P031: This witness testified in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Lars Bromley: An expert witness, he testified about his analysis of satellite images of locations in Congo where rebels allegedly destroyed houses.
- Lynn Lawry: An epidemiologist, her expert testimony centered around sexual violence committed in Ituri district during 2000-2005.
- Witness P863: Testified about UPC attacks against towns in eastern Congo, including, Mongbwalu, Bambu, Beni, Buli and Kobu. The witness was granted full protective measures.
- Witness P773: Appeared via video link and all of her testimony was heard in closed session.
- Witness P005: Appeared via video link and all of his testimony was heard in closed session.
- Witness P108: Appeared via video link and all of his testimony was heard in closed session.
- Jacques Kabasele: A former judge in the Cour de Grande Instance in Bunia, Kabasele – also known in court as Witness P043 – briefly testified about his arrest and imprisonment by UPC forces in November 2002. Judges admitted the statement he made to Thomas Lubanga prosecutors in 2005, into the Ntaganda case record.
- Sonia Bakar: The former head of the investigations unit of the human rights section of the UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) testified about investigations into human rights violations in Ituri district during 2002-2003. She recounted how investigations by her team found widespread reports of crimes committed by members of the UPC. The investigation reports that Bakar and her team produced in June 2003, as well as raw data used to prepare the reports, were tendered into evidence by the prosecution.
- Witness P857: This witness gave all his testimony in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness P116: Appeared via video link and all of his testimony was heard in closed session.
- Désiré Dudunyabo Tandana: Also known as Witness P551, this individual was the last prosecution witness to testify in Ntaganda’s trial. Appearing via video link from an undisclosed location, the former inspector of schools in the eastern Congo town of Bunia was questioned about records that showed the age of former pupils in various schools.
- Victim a/01635/13: Female victim of UPC brutality who presented her views and concerns via video link.
- Victim a/30169/15: This victim fled his village with his children following a UPC attack in March 2003. He presented his views and concerns to judges via video link.
- Victim a/30286/15: Recounted that she was raped by three UPC soldiers when she was 13 years old.
- Victim a/20018/14: Testified that she was raped by two UPC soldiers in the presence of her children aged 10, eight, and six years.
- Victim a/20126/14: This victim testified how UPC soldiers attacked his village of Nyangara, destroyed several houses, murdered his relatives, and stabbed him with a bayonet.
- Witness V1: A victim of alleged torture by UPC soldiers, he testified that the militia men killed six members of his family including his wife, burned his three houses to the ground and stole his livestock and other household property. Appearing before judges via video link, Witness V1, also known as Victim a/00256/13, stated that his ordeal at the hands of the UPC started with his arrest and imprisonment at the end of 2002.
- Witness V2: This was the second victim to appear before judges. She testified that she was raped and her husband was killed by UPC militiamen.
- Witness V3: This victim testified that Ntaganda purportedly led a group of soldiers who arrested and killed his father for refusal to form an alliance with the UPC.
Witnesses for the Defense
- Olivier Maki Dhekana: The first individual to testify for Ntaganda at the ICC. He recounted how UPC commanders turned him away when he volunteered to join the militia because they deemed him to be underage.
- Bosco Ntaganda: As the second witness called by defense lawyers, Ntaganda testified in his own defense for over six weeks. He recounted how his role in fighting injustice and discrimination during the Rwandan genocide drove him to fight against dictatorship in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He stated that discipline was strictly enforced within the militia; and that ethnic discrimination and sexual relations were forbidden. He maintained that commanders in the group screened recruits and rejected individuals deemed too young to serve. In concluding testimony before the court, Ntaganda denied interfering with witnesses.
- Protected Witness: Appearing via video link from Bunia in eastern Congo, this individual testified with full protective measures and all of her evidence was heard in closed session.
- Zawadi Bahati Richard: A former Congolese militia trainee at Uganda’s Kyankwanzi military school, he recounted his arrival at the camp and stated that no details of age were requested by Ugandan officials.
- Witness D201: Appeared via video link and the bulk of his testimony was heard in closed session. The witness testified about students’ school attendance patterns during ethnic conflict in the region in 2002 and 2003. He is believed to be a former head teacher at an undisclosed school in Ituri.
- Witness D057: Believed to be a staff member from an unnamed school in Ituri. Testified via video link and the bulk of his testimony was heard in closed session.
- Witness D211: The seventh individual called to testify by Ntaganda’s lawyers. Her evidence was heard via video link and entirely in closed session.
- Witness D038: This witness was granted protective measures and all of his evidence was heard in closed session.
- Witness D017: Most of this former UPC member’s testimony was heard in closed session. In the brief moments of open court, he testified that despite the absence of documentation to verify the age of recruits at the Mandro training camp, there were no recruits under the age of 18 years at the camp. The witness also stated that sexual relations among female and male recruits, as well as between recruits and instructors at the camp, were “strictly prohibited.”
- Witness D243: The evidence of this witness related to the communication capabilities of the UPC. He testified in closed session, with full protective measures.
- Witness D251: A former member of the UPC, she disputed the account of a prosecution witness known as Witness P10, an alleged former UPC child soldier, who said there was sexual abuse within the UPC. Witness D251 testified largely in closed session.
- Witness D207: A former trader in Ituri province during 2002-2003, the defense called him to challenge the testimony of prosecution Witness P898 who testified, among others, about allegations of non-consensual sexual relations within the UPC. Witness D207 testified remotely via video link and was granted full protective measures.
- Witness D123:This witness did not appear in person before court but had his prior recorded testimony submitted into evidence. Judges found his evidence relevant because it challenged the validity of a document concerning family relations of prosecution Witness P894. The unnamed document was discussed and admitted for the purpose of impeachment during Witness P894’s cross-examination in June 2016. The prosecution witness testified about ethnic tensions in Ituri province, a crime of murder, and two attacks by the UPC militia on Mongbwalu town.
- Witness D134: The prior recorded statement of this witness was admitted into evidence. The statement concerns the baptism record of prosecution Witness P888, who testified as an alleged former child soldier. The defense says this prosecution witness lied about his age and date of birth. The baptism record was admitted into evidence for impeachment purposes.
- Witness D148:The witness did not appear before judges but had her prior recorded statement admitted into evidence. According to the defense, her statement was limited to commenting on deficiencies on a birth certificate admitted for prosecution Witness P883, suggesting that it was a forgery.
- Witness D150: The testimony by this witness concerns the authenticity of the birth certificate admitted for prosecution Witness P883 and addresses how the office that purportedly issued the document functions. According to the defense, Witness D150 did not recognize the writing on the document as being either his own or that of his superior who were both on duty on the reported date of the document’s issuance.
- Witness D163: The prior recorded statement of this witness, which was admitted into evidence, relates to the procedure for issuing birth certificates by officers of the Civil Registry in Congo and provides information about the basis of information appearing on electoral cards. Judges determined that Witness D163’s statement was relevant because it addressed the reliability of the different forms of birth certification in Congo.
- Witness D013: Judges determined that his prior recorded testimony is relevant because it concerns the political context leading to the creation of UPC, its structure, functioning, and policies in 2002-2003, including the UPC’s approach to demobilization of child soldiers.
- Witness D080: The prior recorded testimony of this witness was admitted into evidence. The statement by this former insider in the UPC/FPLC related to various issues relevant to the charges, including the acts and conduct of Ntaganda. The defense team had tried to have the witness testify via video link, but this failed when necessary arrangements could not be made with the government authorities in the unnamed country where he resides. Efforts to have him testify physically from The Hague also failed.