THE HAGUE - The Hague international war crimes court found Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty in its first ruling on Wednesday after a decade of work limited largely to Africa while major cases in the Middle East and Asia remain beyond its reach.
Governments and rights groups have leveled war crime accusations against Syrian President Bashar Assad over his military crackdown. But it would be difficult for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to act because Syria is not a signatory and the UN Security Council would be unable to agree on a referral.
Lubanga was found guilty of recruiting and deploying child soldiers during a five-year conflict until 2003. An estimated 60,000 people were killed.
"The chamber concludes that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is guilty of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years," ICC Presiding Judge Adrian Fulford said.