Mandag 26. januar var en historisk dag for Den internasjonale straffedomstolen: da innledet domstolen den første rettssaken. Den tiltalte er den kongolesiske militslederen Thomas Lubango, som av alle ting er utdannet i psykologi. Han er tiltalt for å ha tvangsrekruttert barnesoldater.
Sjefanklager Luis Moreno-Ocampo var ikke nådig i innledningsforedraget.
«Lubanga’s armed group recruited and trained hundreds of children to kill, pillage, and rape. Hundreds of children still suffer the consequences of Lubanga’s crimes,» said Mr. Moreno-Ocampo.
«They cannot forget the beatings they suffered, they cannot forget the terror they felt and the terror they inflicted. They cannot forget the sounds of the machine guns, they cannot forget that they killed. They cannot forget that they raped, that they were raped.»
The prosecutor said children were abducted on the way to school or from sports fields. They were beaten and killed during training. Young girls were taken as «wives» by commanders.
«As soon as the girls’ breasts started to grow, Thomas Lubanga’s commanders could select them as their wives,» he said. «Wives is the wrong word. They were sexual slaves.»
Det sitter fire arresterte i domstolens fengsel, alle kongolesere. Domstolen skal snart ta stilling til om det skal reises tiltale mot Sudans diktator Omar Bashir. Det blir den første virkelige testen på hva domstolen tør.