In a visit to the Eastern DRC, the Congolese President Joseph Kabila has officially announced his plan to arrest the renegade General Bosco Ntaganda and deliver him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a meeting with traditional and civil society leaders angry with General Bosco Ntaganda for the havoc caused by his mutineers soldiers after he learned of Joseph Kabila’s intentions late last month, Joseph Kabila reaffirmed his determination to deal with insecurity with in Eastern Kivu.
In his statement after the meeting, he said that he wants to arrest General Bosco Ntaganda because the Congolese people have asked him to.
Late last month, President Joseph Kabila, bowing to the International pressure, requested the help of Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame of Rwanda. General Bosco Ntaganda’s soldiers are a proxy of the Rwandan Army and have been protecting mineral and other financial interests of General Paul Kagame and his closest aides in Eastern Kivu (see our article: CNDP Quits FARDC as Joseph Kabila Asks Paul Kagame to Arrest General Ntaganda).
According to sources close to the Congolese Government, General Bosco Ntaganda initially accepted to be handed over to ICC. A plane to carry him to the Hague had been already been readied.
However, at the last minute he was dissuaded from doing so by General Paul Kagame and instead advised to create a rebellion, with the support of the Rwandan army. His men defected from FARDC late March 2012 and earlier this month. General Ntaganda’s volte-face angered Joseph Kabila.
He ordered the brigades trained by the MONUSCO, the United States, China, and Belgium to crush the rebellious soldiers. A large portion of the rebellious troops, faced with the overwhelming force from these highly trained brigades have since surrendered. Most of their commanders have fled to Uganda and Rwanda.
President Kabila also blasted the behavior of some soldiers who, he said, are committed to an ethnicity, insisting that the soldiers must serve the nation not their ethnic group. General Bosco Ntaganda and his soldiers are ex-CNDP from the ethnic Tutsi. So far they had refused the deployment outside the Kivu, arguing that they are protecting the ethnic Tutsis from other Congolese.
Now the question is when and how the former rebel leader, became a general in the regular army, will be arrested and surrendered to the ICC.