Posted by: bklunk | February 19, 2007

Even Jon Stewart Took Notice

No, I mean seriously. Last week, Stewart got serious interviewing Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone.

Accused Warlord ordered to stand trial for children soldiers « International Politics

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/301640_netherlands30.html

The above article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer discusses how a Congolese warlord has been accused of sending child soldiers to fight in a tribal conflict. This warlord from the Congo, has become the frist suspect ever to face judgement in front of the International Criminal Court. This accusation occured just days before the 45 countries agreed to not only stop allowing child soldiers, but also to play in role in ensuring that other countries do not use them as well.

The man being tried, Thomas Lubanga from the Congo, has had substantial evidence found against him leading officials to believe that he is responsible for “war crimes consisting of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15.” Human Right’s groups in and around the Democratic Republic of Congo are very happy with the decision to punish Lubanga, as it will be seen as a step towards ending the violence caused by the country’s civil war and tribal conflicts. These conflicts have allowed for nearly 4 million deaths in the area, so it is easy to see why these Human Right’s Groups are taking this so seriously.

If Lubanga is found guilty of the above crimes, he could be sentenced to a lifetime in prison. At this point, this outcome is looking more and more likely as prosecutors say Lubanga needs about a year to build up his defense. However, his trial is set to begin later this year. So it is possible that Lubanga will soon be seen as a good example to the rest of the world of the consequences of child soliders in today’s world.

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Responses

  1. I think Lubanga is getting off to easily. His actions have allowed the continous of violence and the teaching of violence at such young ages. How is anything supposed to change if children are taught, and sent off at such a young age, to kill one another. Violence then becomes a standard in daily life. It’s the answer to every question and the reason behind every action. This man should be given the fate he has already sent so many children too. A lifetime in prison seems to easy.

  2. I feel that the existence of the International Criminal Court is extremely needed in the international system. It allows there to be a higher power above the ruler of a country, and forced the ruler to take responsibility for what he or she does within the borders. This first trial is going to set the precedent for the court, and it is a good case to begin with. It has solid evidence to persecute Lubanga, but the ethical standards are maintained with the defense. I find it difficult to believe that Lubanga will not receive life in prison with such a solid persecution.
    The previous blogger must remember that the United States is one of the very few remaining countries in the western hemisphere to utilize the death penalty. All of Europe has abolished it. That said – a life in prison sentence is the greatest punishment Lubanga can possibly receive, by law. If sentenced, it will set a needed precedent for convicting human rights violators.


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