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Former DRC Vice-President Arrested on War Crimes Charges

A former Congolese rebel leader has been arrested for war crimes he allegedly committed in the Central African Republic.

Jean-Pierre Bemba was arrested Saturday in Belgium. A warrant for his arrest had been issued by the International Criminal Court, a court that deals with crimes against humanity and war crimes.

According to a statement released by the court, Bemba was allegedly responsible for four counts of war crimes and two counts of crimes against humanity.

Bemba led the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, a Congolese rebel group that later became a political party. At one time he was vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ICC said Bemba's charges stem from rapes and murders allegedly carried out by his forces in the Central African Republic. Bemba's group had been invited into the country by former President Ange-Felix Patasse to help him put down a coup attempt.

Bemba lost a DRC presidential election in 2006 to President Joseph Kabila.

He left the DRC for Portugal in April of 2007 after clashes between his supporters and government forces that killed more than 200 people.