Jan 29 (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on Monday there was enough evidence to prosecute Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga for war crimes in what would be the Hague-based court's first trial.
Following are brief facts about Lubanga, leader of the ethnic Hema-dominated Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia in Congo's lawless northeastern district of Ituri.
- Thomas Lubanga Dyilo stands accused of recruiting children as young as 10 to fight during the UPC's occupation of the eastern Congolese town of Bunia between August 2002 and March 2003.
- He held senior positions in Ugandan-allied rebel groups during Congo's 1998-2003 war.
- He was arrested in March 2005 in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, where he had been detained after registering the UPC as a political party.
- U.S.-based Human Rights Watch accuses the UPC of killing hundreds of civilians in a series of attacks in Bunia and surrounding towns and villages which it says forced 140,000 people from their homes.
- A father of seven in his 40s, he studied at Congo's Kisangani university and holds a university degree in psychology.
- Lubanga's legal team has branded the prosecution a political manoeuvre, calling Lubanga "Congo's Nelson Mandela". (Sources: Reuters, Human Rights Watch, U.N. officials)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.