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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid