Editor's Note: This op-ed originally appeared in Foreign Policy and was written by Enough Project Policy Analyst Holly Dranginis and Field Researcher Fidel Bafilemba.
When Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda’s war crimes trial opened in The Hague last month, most of his victims were nearly 4,000 miles away in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Unable to watch the proceedings in person, some of them tuned in from a gas station in the provincial capital of Goma.
Nicknamed “the Terminator” for his alleged brutality, Ntaganda faces 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual enslavement, and destruction of enemy property. He is thought to have been involved in multiple rebel movements in Rwanda and Congo going back as far as 1990, when he was still a teenager. More than 5 million people have died in eastern Congo since 1996, when a Rwandan invasion sparked a regional conflagration that eventually drew in nine countries and dozens of rebel groups. It has been described as “Africa’s World War.”
Photo credit: AP Photo/T.J. Kirkpatrick