KINSHASA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga has been arrested and taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial, the first war crimes suspect to be tried by the ICC since it was set up in July 2002.
Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Saturday that the court had taken Lubanga to its custody the previous day in a first step toward the realization of lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Moreno-Ocampo vowed to maintain the ICC presence in the DRC to continue hunting down other war criminals, while vindicating the measures taken by the court to arrest Lubanga.
In a parallel development, DRC Justice Minister Honorius Kisimba Ngoy Ndalewe expressed displeasure over the "commando" act by the court to take Lubanga out of a suburban prison of Kinshasa.
The ICC should have informed the DRC government in advance of the arrest of Lubanga, who had been jailed there since March 19, 2005, for killing nine UN peacekeepers, according to the minister.
The official also pledged the government's cooperation with the ICC, while hoping the latter would act more prudently, professionally after notifying the DRC judicial authority.
The 45-year-old Lubanga arrived in The Hague late Friday and was driven in a black truck accompanied by four police motorcycles to the ICC cells in a nearby location of Scheveningen.
Lubanga, the alleged leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots,a militia movement that has been for years fighting for power in the northeastern Ituri district, was charged by the ICC with "conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities." Enditem