Congolese war lord Bosco Ntaganda who this week surrendered to the US embassy in Kigali has been transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.
Ntaganda early this week sought refuge at the US embassy after losing a battle with forces loyal General Sultan Makenga in the DRC and asked to be transferred to The Hague.
He faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to his role in the conflicts that have rocked eastern DRC over the last 10 years.
Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo has confirmed the transfer and sources from the ICC say that the warlord is now in their custody. Mushikiwabo says the transfer follows cooperation between Rwandan, the United States and Dutch governments.
The Public Affairs officer at the US embassy in Kigali, Susan Falatko, told URN that the transfer was made possible by the support of the Rwandan authorities.
In 2006, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Ntaganda, who was then a General in DRC national army, for crimes committed against civilians in the Ituri region from 2002 and 2003. He was also accused of recruiting child soldiers in North Kivu in the 2012 rebellion.
The US government had placed a 5 million dollar bounty on his head but it is not a signatory to the Rome Statute and may not do a lot with him.
Part of the ICC’s indictment against Ntaganda includes war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape, murder and recruiting child soldiers.
Ntaganda’s surrender came days after fighting between rival factions of the M23 saw 718 fighters led by deposed political head of the movement Jean Marie Runiga, flee to Rwanda.