The International Criminal Court (ICC) has charged the Democratic Republic of Congo’s war lord, Thomas Lubanga, with recruiting and using child soldiers in his rebel movement in Ituri. Lubanga has been sentenced to 14 years in jail, however he will serve only eight because he already spent six years in detention in The Hague. While the international community, advocacy and human rights organizations welcome the Mr. Lubanga’s conviction, we must remain aware that this light sentence does not serve justice to his victims or change anything for the people of the warn-torn eastern provinces (North and South Kivu, and Oriental). The ICC will not make meaningful and lasting change in Congo; justice must be local, accessible, and independent. This is one important step for Congo to end violent conflicts, reduce poverty, and further development.
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