ICC to Set Reparations Amount in Lubanga Case


"How do you calculate a lost childhood?" That was the question Tuesday before war crimes judges trying to set the amount of landmark reparations to be paid to former Congolese child soldiers.

After years of hearings, trials and appeals before the International Criminal Court (ICC), the victims of former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga are "tired of this battle," said lawyer Luc Walleyn.

"There is some damage which cannot be calculated. How do you calculate a lost youth? What it is worth? A million, half a million, five thousand euros, a thousand euros?" Walleyn asked the tribunal based in The Hague.

Transferred to the ICC in 2006, Lubanga was found guilty six years later of abducting children -- boys and girls -- as young as 11 and press-ganging them into his Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) in the eastern Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He was jailed for 14 years. But the court also ruled that Lubanga is personally liable for reparations to his victims, who at the time of the crimes in 2002-2003 were all under the age of 15.

The reparations case was opened in 2012, but has bogged down as lawyers and experts have wrestled with the best way of ensuring that the victims -- many of whom are now in their 30s and have children of their own -- can be helped.

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