News / Africa

    Rebel Surrender, a Boost to DRC Peace Process, Says Official

    FILE - Indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda poses for a photograph during an interview with Reuters in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 5, 2010. FILE - Indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda poses for a photograph during an interview with Reuters in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 5, 2010.
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    FILE - Indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda poses for a photograph during an interview with Reuters in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 5, 2010.
    FILE - Indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda poses for a photograph during an interview with Reuters in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 5, 2010.
    Peter Clottey
    The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has expressed confidence the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Rwanda will ensure Bosco Ntaganda is prosecuted on war crimes charges.

    “We have maintained close contact with our counterpart in the U.S. government as well as in Rwanda, because the two governments have to cooperate so that Ntaganda is sent to be judged,” said the DRC Information Minister Lambert Mende.

    Mende says the surrender of Ntaganda could change the dynamics of instability in the restive parts of the North Kivu province and surrounding areas in the DRC.

    “This is good news for the people and the government of this country because Bosco Ntaganda is among those criminal elements who have disturbed, and totally even destroyed, the humanitarian and security situation in the eastern part of our country,” said Mende.

    The International Criminal Court has indicted Ntaganda on seven counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity. The Hague-based court accused Ntaganda of being responsible for the use of child soldiers and acts of murder, rape and sexual slavery in the eastern DRC.

    “Having him brought to court will be a very big achievement for the [DRC] peace process,” Mende said. “What we need is for Ntaganda to be questioned about what he did, and what we need is for him to be punished because of the criminal act he has committed against our people.”

    His comments came after Rwanda’s foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, said on her Twitter account Monday that Ntaganda entered Rwanda and surrendered to the U.S. embassy in the capital, Kigali.

    Ntaganda is believed to have crossed the border into Rwanda following recent violent clashes between rival groups in the rebel M23 group.
                         
    Mende says his government wants Ntaganda prosecuted in DRC for the alleged atrocities he committed there.

    “Of course we would prefer him to be handed over to our justice system, but we know that international justice is in the position of [prosecuting] him. So he can be handed over to Kinshasa or he can be handed over to The Hague. There is no problem for us,” said Mende. 

    He says Ntaganda’s surrender could help with international efforts to protect unarmed civilians and to restore peace and stability in parts of the country often ravaged by conflicts.

    “When people like Ntaganda and others will disappear in that region, we think that this will be a chance to [establish] the peace to that region. We think that there are others, but when you remove one, there is hope that this will teach a lesson to others,” said Mende.

    Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC's information minister
    Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC's information ministeri
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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Nason from: South Africa
    March 19, 2013 4:03 AM
    I think its a good idea what he has done to surrender because he
    knew that he can not go far we also thank the M23 for fighting him until he surrendered

    by: Espoire king from: United States, Chicago
    March 18, 2013 11:38 PM
    I believe that Bosco made a great choise to report him and he is confident with justice system in Hague. The disability issues in East Congo is way beyong Bosco. Congolese government must take responsibility on their part. What you do if the government dont protect the minority? the monority use all kind froce to defend themeselves. In this case I dont see how the Tutsi can not defend themeslves against the government that killing ,raping and rabing it. Us must not turn Bosco to the ICC because its does not approve that court itself.
    In Response

    by: Oxen from: Mars
    March 20, 2013 9:54 PM
    Rubbish: The crimes commited by Ntaganda and other groups elements like him do no come any where close to fighting for The Tutsi's. He betrayed them big time and is a shame to human kind of all races or tribes. His own friends saw this and kicked him out, thank goodness he will face some kind of justice and most importantly will never cause mayhem again, at least not anytime soon, even if let off the hook somehow, which I hope will not happen. It is an absurdity to fight a govt by some that are part of it claiming it is not protecting them. Positive forces are working with the Govt to bring change. The chaos left by Mobutu the corrupt dictator will take time to resolve and Kabila cannot fix all problems so soon so fast. That is why the International community is trying to help. But the nefarious rebel groups fanned by regional greedy autocratic regimes and warlords are wasting lives of youth and others in the name of trying to help them, mean while they instead extort money, plunder, rape, kill and to enrich themselves. This must stop or be stopped and UN and SADC are on the tight course here. Thumbs up for Mr Ban Ki-Moon for leading well on this one. Great news to terminate this terminator once and for all, more need to follow and all trouble causers dealt with in the region when they encroach on the sovereignty of other nations due to greed. DRC govt must purge, train and clean up its forces and remove/punish the rogue elements there and beyond.

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