ICC: Trial of two DR Congo militia leaders, Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolom, to open Sept 24
Trial of two DR Congo militia leaders to open Sept 24: ICC
Friday, 28 March 2009 report by AFP:
THE HAGUE — The trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo, two former militia leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, will begin on September 24, the International Criminal Court announced Friday.
Both men are charged with having committed war crimes, including using child soldiers and attacking civilians, and crimes against humanity, including murder rape and sexual slavery.
Katanga, 30, also known as "Simba," or lion, is accused of having led the Patriotic Resistance Front in Ituri (FRPI), which operated in the east of the country.
The FPRI was a militia formed towards the end of 2002, with backing from Uganda, according to the ICC charge sheet.
Its members, who belonged to the Lendu and Ngiti ethnic groups, are suspected of having carried out massacres against the Hema ethnic group.
Ngudjolo, 37, is accused of having been the leader of the Nationalist Integrationist Front (FNI), which operated in the same district. The FNI was made up of Lendu fighters.
The charges against both men arise out of a joint attack on the village of Bororo, in Ituri on February 24, 2003, by the two groups they are alleged to have led.
A pre-trial chamber of the court decided earlier this month to join the two cases.
Ituri is a mineral-rich district of DR Congo that borders Uganda and Sudan with a population of between 3.5 and 5.5 million people made up of 18 different ethnic groups.