March 19, 2013
(NEW YORK) - Bosco Ntaganda, the fugitive Congolese warlord responsible for grave child rights violations surrendered yesterday at the Embassy of the United States of America in Kigali, Rwanda, and requested his immediate transfer to the International Criminal Court to face war crimes charges.
“For years, Ntaganda and armed elements under his command have ravaged eastern Congo, killing, raping and recruiting children on a large scale,” said the Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui. “I call on all parties involved for a swift transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court to ensure that justice is done for these children.”
Ntaganda, also known as “the Terminator”, faces charges of grave violations committed against children, including the conscription of child soldiers, acts of murder, sexual slavery and rape during the 2002 to 2003 conflict in the Ituri district. As founding member of the M23 rebel movement, he also recruited and used children as bodyguards, porters and for other purposes in last year’s North Kivu rebellion. These grave violations committed against children resulted in Security Council sanctions against him, including a travel ban and asset freeze.
“The international prosecution will prove that impunity does not prevail for child right’s violations and creates an important deterrent for potential perpetrators,” Ms. Zerrougui said.
In a landmark ruling last year, the International Criminal Court found Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Diylo guilty for recruiting and using children under the age of 15 into the Forces patriotiques pour la liberation du Congo.
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