The Hague, November 24, 2011 (FH) -  A group of child soldiers victims participating in the trial of Mathieu Ngudjolo and Germain Katanga  before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday asked the court to call upon to the bar Congolese and Ugandan officials.

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The child soldiers' lawyer, Belgian Jean-Louis Gilissen, suggested that these authorities could talk about the "existence of child soldiers, their usage by armed groups, their participation to the war and their demobilization".

The lawyer claims that the two accused "appeared to be denying the existence of child soldiers in Ituri (...) or at least to minimize the importance of the phenomenon".

Mathieu Ngudjolo and Germain Katanga are charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes for their alleged role in the attack of Bogoro (Ituri, Eastern DRC) on February 24, 2003 when over 200 people were killed. The Prosecutor alleges that they had recruited child soldiers to commit this massacre.

In this case, victims are not allowed to call directly witnesses to the bar but they can suggest the judges to do so.

The trial opened in November 2009 and is now getting to an end. The court still have to decide if a visit of the crimes sites should be organizing before the closing of the case.


© Hirondelle News Agency