first_imgCongolese former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda entered his 12th day of hunger strike on Monday while in detention in Netherlands refusing to attend his war crimes trial reports AFPThe rebel leader has not appeared in court at the International Criminal court in The Hague since September seventh. He is the first defendant to go on a hunger strike at the international court and his protest is angering judges who have ordered for his trial to continue in his absence.“How long can this situation last? Is it the kind of justice we want before the International Criminal Court? … We can’t ignore the absence of the accused whose current state of health is rapidly deteriorating.” said his lawyer, Stephane Bourgon, in a statement sent early Monday.The detention centre’s medical officer had reported early Monday that Ntaganda “shows fatigue, but no alarming physical or mental symptoms.”Judge Robert Fremr denounced Ntaganda’s actions as “disruptive”, calling them “self-induced” and adding “the chamber sees no reasonable alternative but to continue the proceedings.”Ntaganda is protesting the judges’ refusal to ease restrictions on his visitors — imposed due to fears about witness tampering. He said he had lost hope of ever seeing his wife and children again without the presence of court and security officials.Ntaganda has denied 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity arising out of savage ethnic attacks carried out in the DR Congo by his rebel Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) in 2002-2003.last_img