The International Criminal Court (ICC) has sentenced former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo to 14 years imprisonment for enlisting and using child soldiers.
Lubanga has already served six years in jail, which will be deducted from his sentence. The warlord was found guilty on March 14 for using children in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2002 and 2003.
In coming to a decision on the sentence, the court considered the widespread use of child soldiers at the time of the crime, Lubanga’s ability to prevent the crimes from occurring, but also Lubanga’s cooperative and respectful attitude through the proceedings.
One of the three judges presiding over the trial disagreed with her colleagues on one issue, believing that the sentence disregards the severity of the victims’ suffering, according to official documents. The verdict had been unanimous.
Rob Williams, CEO of War Child U.K., also feels that the sentence is too lenient.
“A sentence of just 14 years is a gross disrespect to the children who were abducted and forced to fight and die in Thomas Lubanga’s rebel project,” Williams said in a statement following the verdict.
“After running a campaign of terror against children and adults, Lubanga’s sentence raises questions about the credibility of the International Criminal Court,” he added.The court previously imposed a 50-year sentence on Issa Sesay and a 35-year sentence on Morris Kallon, two men who had committed multiple child soldier related crimes in Sierra Leone.