Convicted Democratic Republic of Congo warlord Bosco Ntaganda has been ordered by the International Criminal Court in The Hague to pay victims US$30 million in compensation.
“The chamber hereby unanimously issues an order for reparations against mister Ntaganda (and) assesses mister Ntaganda’s liability for these reparations at 30 million US dollars,” said Judge Chang-ho Chung.
The amount is the highest reparation ever ordered by the court.
Ntaganda used child soldiers and other civilians in the eastern part of the country in 2002-2003, and was convicted of rape, murder, and crimes against humanity while he was the head of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia. Thousands of people fled the region during this time, and hundreds died.
The compensation is to go to victims of rape and the children born out of rape, as well as child soldiers and others who suffered. The money will go towards charities set up to help victims, with no individual payouts specified by the court.
Ntaganda, who is serving 30 years in prison, will not be able to pay himself, therefore activating monies from a fund set up by the ICC.
“The Chamber encourages the Trust Fund for Victims to complement the reparation awards to the extent possible and engage in additional fundraising efforts as necessary to complement the totality of the award,” added Chung.
The Trust Fund is buoyed by voluntary contributions, with some €18 million in reserve. Most is already earmarked to compensate victims from other cases, as some question the validity of the payout.
Ntaganda has appealed his 2019 conviction. – RFI