The global criminal courtroom inside the Hague sentenced former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to 18 years imprisonment for conflict crimes Tuesday.

Bemba, 53, sat impassively as the sentence turned into examine. He was convicted in March of 5 counts ofbattle crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity for failing to save you the rapes, looting and killings that his troops, the Congolese Liberation movement, hired in a reign of terror as they tried to suppress a coupwithin the critical African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

He changed into sentenced to two 18-12 months terms and 16yr terms, to run concurrently, and his time spent in a Belgian prison for the reason that 2008 will be deducted from his penalty. Bemba’s attorneyshave stated he’s going to attraction the case.

The conviction and sentence are groundbreaking: Bemba is the first person to be convicted of war crimes by means of the ICC, an worldwide court installed in 2002 as a “court of ultimate resort” to strive majorcrimes. He is also the primary to be held at once chargeable for his subordinates’ movements; his 1,500 troops engaged in a wide-scale rampage inside the automobile for a 5-month length, and ICC judgesstated Bemba should have stopped the violence but chose no longer to.

ICC decide Sylvia Steiner stated Bemba did not restrain the troops in his personal navy, resulting in “sadistic” rapes, killings and pillaging of “specific cruelty.”

Bemba’s trial become also the primary to recall rape as a weapon of conflict and a battle crime.

contemporary sentencing marks a critical turning point for the lots of girls, children and guys who have been sufferers of Bemba’s orchestrated marketing campaign of rape and murder,” said Karen Naimer, an observer of the trial and director of the sexual violence in war zones application for the non-governmentalinstitution Physicians for Human Rights.

The case was additionally large in that 5,2 hundred witnesses, lots of whom were victims, participatedinside the trial, and might now be eligible for reparations.