The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor asked for new war crimes charges against a Democratic Republic of Congo general and a new arrest warrant for a Rwandan rebel based in Congo’s violent east.
General Bosco Ntaganda, who is already wanted by The Hague- based court, should face crimes against humanity for murder, ethnic persecution and sexual slavery during fighting in northeastern Congo in 2002 and 2003, according to a statement yesterday from the prosecutor’s office on The Hague-based court’s website. Rwandan Sylvestre Mudacumura should also face charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in eastern Congo in 2009 and 2010, according to the statement.
“The public request of the arrest warrant can contribute to demobilize those following Ntaganda and Mudacumura’s orders,” the prosecutor’s office said. Both men currently lead rebellions in eastern Congo.
Fighting in eastern Congo began more than 15 years ago in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. At least 3.1 million people died as a result of the conflict between 1998 and 2007, according to the International Rescue Committee, mainly due to starvation or easily preventable disease.
Ntaganda deserted Congo’s army last month amid rumors of his impending arrest by the ICC. Clashes between the army and deserters linked to him forced more than 10,000 people to flee their homes in North Kivu province as of May 9, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
At least 30 people have been killed by Mudacumura’s rebel group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, since the beginning of the month in eastern Congo, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Congo said May 9.
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