Ntaganda, 46, was found guilty in July on 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for acts committed when he was military operations chief at the Union of Congolese Patriots militia in east Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

Congolese militia commander Bosco Ntaganda enters the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands on November 7, 2019.
Congolese militia commander Bosco Ntaganda enters the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands on November 7, 2019. (Reuters)

International Criminal Court judges sentenced Congolese rebel chief Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda to 30 years in prison on Thursday for war crimes, the highest ever penalty handed down by the tribunal.

Citing a "multiplicity of crimes", including sexual slavery and persecution, presiding judge Robert Flemr told Ntaganda there were no real mitigating circumstances and "the overall sentence imposed on you shall therefore be 30 years of imprisonment".

Ntaganda, 46, was found guilty in July on 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for acts committed when he was military operations chief at the Union of Congolese Patriots militia in east Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

Ntaganda showed no emotion as Presiding Judge Fremr passed sentences ranging from eight years to 30 years for individual crimes and an overarching sentence of 30 years.

The court's maximum sentence is 30 years, although judges also have the discretion to impose a life sentence.

Source: AP