Washington, 10 jumadil Awal 1434/22 March 2013 (MINA) – A team of experts from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has arrived in the Rwandan capital Kigali to help transfer Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda to The Hague to face trial, a US official said.
“A team from the International Criminal Court arrived in Kigali yesterday to make the logistical arrangements for Bosco Ntaganda’s transfer to The Hague,” a US State Department official said in Washington on Thursday (21/3), according to Press TV reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
On Monday, Ntaganda surrendered and turned himself in to the US Embassy in Kigali. He is expected to be transferred for trial at the ICC within days.
“We are seeking to facilitate his request to be transferred to the ICC as quickly as possible,” the US official added.
Ntaganda, known by the nom de guerre “Terminator” due to his brutal methods, has been wanted by the ICC since 2006 on charges of committing the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of fifteen and using them to participate actively in hostilities.
Earlier in the day, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said all support would be provided to guarantee the swift extradition of Ntaganda to the ICC.
“We will work to make what the US Embassy needs in relation to Bosco Ntaganda’s case happen as fast as possible,” Kagame said in a statement.
On March 16, sources in the United Nations and the March 23 movement (M23) said that hundreds of Ntaganda men had fled into Rwanda or surrendered to UN peacekeepers after being defeated by the M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
General Ntaganda had been the leader of the March 23 movement (M23) until February 2013, and it is unclear why he chose to part ways with the M23 and to form his own faction.
The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over alleged mistreatment in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC).
Kinshasa and the United Nations have said that the rebels fighting the Congolese army were trained in Rwanda, an accusation Kigali denies.
Since early May 2012, nearly 3 million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but more than 460,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead.(T/P09/P03)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)