AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool
Today, lawyers of notorious Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda attempted to work against the view that their client is violent and bloodthirsty, Reuters reported. They argued that he was a professional soldier who was attempting to protect civilians from the violence and turmoil in Congo in the early 2000s.
Accounts of rape and sexual slavery have dominated the beginning of the trial at the war crime court in The Hague which has only being going on for two days.
The prosecutors argued that Ntaganda played a significant role in the violence, saying he had formed a guerrilla army in order to strengthen his troops and take the northeast part of Congo for himself. The area is rich in mineral resources.
However, his defense counsel Luc Boutin argued that “The Union of Congolese Patriots’ (UPC) aim was to take political and military control of Ituri and to protect the population from attacks.
Ntaganda is due to take the stand later today.