Congolese warlord to appear before ICC Monday

THE HAGUE, Oct 21, 2007 (AFP) – Congolese militia leader Germain Katanga will on Monday become the second person to appear before the International Criminal Court to face accusations of massacring villagers, using child soldiers and sexually enslaving women. In the largely procedural hearing, Katanga, 29, will not be asked to enter a plea on the three counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes listed in his arrest warrant.

He arrived in the Hague Thursday after being handed over to ICC officials by the Congolese authorities in Kinshasa.

The prosecution accuses Katanga of massacring villagers, using child soldiers and sexually enslaving women in the northeastern Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Among the allegations cited in the ICC arrest warrant, Katanga — also known as Simba — planned and led an “attack on the village of Bogoro (and) … the murder of about 200 civilians, causing serious bodily harm” to other villagers.

Women and girls were enslaved and child fighters forcibly enlisted from the looted village, which was razed to the ground after the attack.

Katanga’s Forces for the Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) was founded at the end of 2002 with the support of neighbouring Uganda. Its