November 23, 2009 / 5:30 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-Who are Congolese warlords Katanga and Ngudjolo?


Nov 23 (Reuters) - Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, two Congolese warlords, stand trial at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday on war crimes charges. They are accused of attacking civilians, using child soldiers and being responsible for rape committed by subordinates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Here are some details about them:



* GERMAIN KATANGA:

— Katanga, 31, also known as "Simba", had from 2003 led the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri (FRPI), a militia fighting for the interests of the Lendu ethnic group against the Hema group in the east of Congo.

— Prosecutors have said at least 200 civilians died when his militia went on a killing spree in Bogoro village in Feb. 2003.

— They also allege his forces used child soldiers in the attack, that survivors were imprisoned in a building filled with corpses and several women and girls were sexually enslaved.

— Congolese authorities arrested Katanga in March 2005 with eight other militiamen over an attack in which nine U.N. peacekeepers were killed in Ituri. Kinshasa handed him over to the ICC in Oct. 2007.

— Katanga was born in April 1978 in Mambasa in Ituri district in the DRC.



* MATHIEU NGUDJOLO CHUI:

— Former Congo warlord Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, 39 faces war crimes charges of murder, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.

— He was responsible for the murders of 200 civilians, looting and reducing women and girls to sexual slavery, a spokesman for the court said at his arrest.

— Ngudjolo was born in Bunia in Oct 1970, in Ituri district, in the north east of the DRC.

— He became corporal in the former Zairian armed forces of then dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. He deserted in 1996 and later trained as a nurse.

— In 2003, he was arrested by the U.N. on charges of murder in Bunia but was released in 2004 due to lack of evidence.

— In June 2005, he co-founded and became head of the Congolese Revolutionary Movement (MRC), a militia that brought more violence to Ituri.

— In July 2006, he signed a peace agreement with Kinshasa, promising to demobilize his troops in exchange for a general amnesty.

— An arrest warrant issued in July 2007 by the ICC stated there were "reasonable grounds" to believe that Ngudjolo was the highest ranking National Integrationist Front (NFI) commander.

- The warrant also stated there were grounds to believe that as the highest ranking FNI commander, Ngudjolo’s contribution to the Bogoro attack in 2003 was essential to its implementation.

— After his appointment as colonel of the FARDC (Armed Forces of the RDC) in Dec. 2006, he left Ituri a year later to attend a military training centre for officers in Kinshasa. He was arrested there on Feb. 6, 2008.



Sources: Reuters/ICC/www.trial-ch.org/en/trial (( For main story please click on [ID:nGEE5AM014] )) (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit) ((david.cutler@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7968; Reuters Messaging: david.cutler.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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