AP Photo/Michael Kooren, Pool
Two Congolese militia leaders have been sent back to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in order to complete their sentences for war crimes.
It was announced on Saturday that Germain Katanga and Thomas Lubanga will be transferred to the DRC for detention.
The ICC said “this is the first time that the ICC designates a state to implement a sentence ordered by the court.”
Germain Katanga, nicknamed Simba, is the previous leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri and was surrendered to the ICC by the Congolese authorities in 2007. He was found guilty of involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity for the February 2003 attack on the village of Bogoro and in 2014 was sentenced to 12-years in prison. According to Voice of America (VOA) Katanga has had his sentence reduced due to good behavior and showing remorse for his actions.
Thomas Lubanga was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to 14 years in prison for the use of child soldiers in his militia between September 2002 and August 2003 in the region of Ituri, eastern DRC. VOA reported that Lubanga also applied for early release but his request was considered by the ICC to be “unjustified”.