News / Africa

Cautious Optimism Over Congolese Warlord’s Surrender

In this Jan. 16, 2009 file photo, Bosco Ntaganda, seated center, holds a press conference with Congo Interior Minister Celestine Mboyo (R), in Goma, Congo.In this Jan. 16, 2009 file photo, Bosco Ntaganda, seated center, holds a press conference with Congo Interior Minister Celestine Mboyo (R), in Goma, Congo.
x
In this Jan. 16, 2009 file photo, Bosco Ntaganda, seated center, holds a press conference with Congo Interior Minister Celestine Mboyo (R), in Goma, Congo.
In this Jan. 16, 2009 file photo, Bosco Ntaganda, seated center, holds a press conference with Congo Interior Minister Celestine Mboyo (R), in Goma, Congo.
Nick Long
People in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo say they are glad former warlord Bosco Ntaganda has turned himself in at the U.S. embassy in Rwanda, and say they want him tried by the International Criminal Court. They also say, though, that he is not the only war criminal in Congo who should face justice.
 
Until a few days ago, Ntaganda and his faction of the rebel group M23 were still in control of the village of Kibati north of Goma. Now, Ntaganda is in U.S. custody, awaiting a requested transfer to the ICC in The Hague.

Kibati's headman, Ignace Madingo, gave this reaction to the news of Ntaganda’s surrender. He says he would like to see Ntaganda transferred to the International Criminal Court at the Hague because he is responsible for many crimes in North Kivu, both murders and sexual violence.
 
That was the consensus view among Congolese who VOA interviewed in Kibati, Goma and elsewhere. If Ntaganda has any sympathizers they are keeping quiet for the moment.
 
One local chief said he thought the ex-warlord should be tried in Congo because his crimes were committed in Congo, but everyone who commented said they wanted him tried by the ICC.
 
A common reaction from many people is relief that Ntaganda has handed himself in, but suspicion that he may yet escape justice or become a token scapegoat.

Floride Bazimiziki, who works for the local government in Kibati, said that she says she’s very happy that Ntaganda has been arrested in Rwanda, but she hopes this will not be a repeat of what happened with Laurent Nkunda, another Congolese warlord who was arrested in Rwanda in 2009 but is still there and has not been jailed or put on trial.
 
Of about 25 people interviewed at a market and in the streets of Goma, nearly all said there are other suspected war criminals they would like to see punished.
 
One man said all of the criminals need to be arrested, all the leaders of the M23 rebellion: Bishop Jean Marie Runiga, Sultani Makenga, Bosco Ntaganda and Laurent Nkunda.
 
Sultani Makenga, Ntaganda’s rival for leadership of the M23, defeated Ntaganda's forces on the battlefield, likely leading to his surrender. Makenga is widely expected to make a deal with the Congolese government in which his forces will be integrated into the army.
 
Many observers believe the DRC's government risks making the same mistake it made with Ntaganda if it gives Makenga the rank of general and too much power.
 
Gauthier Muhindo, chairman of the North Kivu Civil Society Association’s working group on justice, said history could be rewriting itself. Nkunda was put aside and replaced with Ntaganda, and today, Ntaganda might be replaced by Makenga. He appeals to the Congolese government not be too hasty in reaching a deal with the M23 rebels.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid