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ICC awards $30m compensation to victims of war crimes in Congo

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has awarded $30 million in compensation to victims of war crimes in Congo.

The compensation is the highest amount the court has awarded to the victims so far.

According to the ICC’s ruling at The Hague on Monday, 8 March, former child soldiers and victims of sexual violence carried out by former militia leader Bosco Ntaganda are entitled to compensation.

The panel of judges said that Ntaganda was liable for the reparations, but added that he is “indigent for the purposes of reparations” and urged the Trust Fund for Victims, an organization set up by the court’s Assembly of States Parties to help victims, to “complement the reparation awards” using its own funds and through additional fundraising efforts.

The court however said the compensation is to be raised by the Trust Fund for Victims since Ntaganda cannot afford it.

The fund had been set up by the court’s Assembly of State Parties to assist the victims of war crimes.

Ntaganda was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2019 for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murders, sexual violence, and the use of child soldiers.

The ex-commander, nicknamed ‘Terminator’, had been found guilty of massacres in 2002 and 2003.

He had appealed against the verdict.

According to the verdict, the fund should also draw up a plan for the use of the money.

In 2020 the fund, which relies on voluntary contributions, had around 18 million euros in reserves and much of that was already pledged in other cases.

The court added that priority should be given to victims of sexual violence, people with physical injuries, and former child soldiers.

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