Rwanda urged to stop assisting DRC war crimes suspect

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Monday urged Rwanda [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to stop assisting an accused war criminal [press release] in the Democratic Republic of the Congo [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. General Bosco Ntaganda [case materials] is wanted [warrant, PDF] by the ICC for recruiting and using children as soldiers. HRW revealed after field research that Rwanda allowed Ntaganda to freely move in and out of the country while supplying him with weapons, ammunition and forced recruits. It was reported that around 200 to 300 recruits were forced to join Ntaganda's rebellion in the eastern DRC. Among them were children younger than 18 years of age. HRW discovered that recruits who attempted and failed to escape were killed. Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior Africa researcher at HRW, urged the Rwandan government to "immediately stop all support to Ntaganda and assist in [Ntaganda's] arrest."

HRW has called numerous times for Ntaganda's arrest. In April HRW strongly urged [JURIST report] Congo President Joseph Kabila to arrest Ntaganda immediately and deliver him to the ICC so that he could face charges. It also called the DRC in 2011 and 2010 [JURIST reports] to bring the general to justice. The arrest warrant was unsealed [JURIST report] by the ICC in 2008 although the warrant was issued two years before. ICC stated that it postponed to make the arrest public to prevent Ntaganda to flee, hide and obstruct the investigations.

 

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