Congolese warlord Germain Katanga jailed over 2003 massacre – Guardian 23 May 2014 (click to read more)

Congolese warlord Germain Katanga has been sentenced to 12 years in jail by the international criminal court for arming an ethnic militia that carried out a village massacre in 2003.

“The chamber sentences Germain Katanga to 12 years in prison,” the presiding judge, Bruno Cotte, told the Hague-based court in its second sentencing since opening in 2003.

The almost seven years that Katanga has already spent in detention will be deducted from the sentence, he said.

Katanga, 36, was convicted in┬áMarch of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder and pillaging for his role in the “particularly cruel” attack on Bogoro village in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in February 2003.

Judges found that he armed fighters of the Patriotic Resistance Forces in Ituri (FRPI), who carried out the massacre in which more than 200 people died.

“The scars of the fighting that occurred that day are still be seen today,” Cotte said on Friday. The use of machetes in the attack was “particularly cruel and caused extreme suffering”, he added.

However, the ICC cleared Katanga of charges of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.

Katanga’s lawyers have appealed against his conviction and have 30 days to appeal against the sentencing. The decision on the conviction’s appeal is still pending.

The sentencing is the court’s second since opening its doors in 2003, with another Congolese warlord and Katanga’s one-time adversary Thomas Lubanga sentenced to 14 years in July 2012.

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