Thomas Lubanga, leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), an armed group responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Ituri region of north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The warrant, unsealed today, charges Lubanga with the conscription and recruitment of child soldiers who were used to participate actively in the conflict. [...] UPC combatants under the leadership of Lubanga slaughtered at least 800 civilians on the basis of their ethnicity in the gold mining region of Mongbwalu between November 2002 and June 2003. In another incident in August 2002, the UPC conducted a “man hunt” for persons of Lendu ethnicity and other political opponents, detaining them in two notorious prison areas where scores were tortured and summarily executed.
more @ Human Rights Watch
This sends out a clear message to those warlords: no crime should be unpunished, and the victims deserve justice. Certain political figures (presidential candidates among them) have been granted immunity within Congo. I wonder if the ICC will still bring them to justice. Last year, Jean-Pierre Bemba was interviewed by the BBC and to my surprise he defended himself pretty well (see video here). However he and many others still have questions to answer.
In other news A Congolese parliamentary investigation urged the government to stop the illegal exploitation of natural resources. I doubt much is going to happen there. Read about it here for a brief report, and here for an in depth analysis (in french)