The first trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) commenced on January 27, 2009 with the trial of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga – and video played a prominent role. Lubanga, who has been in custody at The Hague for nearly three years, pleaded not guilty for commandeering children under the age of 15 and sending them to the frontlines of the Congolese civil war, an ongoing conflict that has left over 5 million people dead and more than 1.5 million displaced in the past decade.
WITNESS’ Bukeni Waruzi has worked on this issue in his home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for over ten years. The two videos he shot, directed, and produced – On the Frontlines and A Duty to Protect – were used in broader advocacy campaigns that aimed at persuading the ICC to focus on the issue of child soldiers in the DRC.
Bukeni attended the first week of the Lubanga Trial in the Hague. This vlog is the first in a series of daily updates Bukeni will be sending each day from the ICC.