Ottawa, Canada – March 26, 2013
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict hails the rapid transfer of Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court last week, a first step towards justice for survivors of gender violence in the Great Lakes region.
Ntaganda has been indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including sexual violence, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The former government soldier and rebel leader, known as “the Terminator” turned himself in to the US embassy in Kigali on Monday. After calls for his transfer to ICC custody, Ntaganda arrived at the court on March 22.
In an open statement, 15 Congolese civil society organizations and members of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict commended the United States for facilitating the transfer. They called on all human rights organizations in the region to support the ICC Chief Prosecutor and ensure the court has a strong case against Ntaganda.
Upon Ntaganda's surrender, Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate and Co-Chair of the Campaign said, “Today brings a new dawn for the women and girls of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo who have suffered for too long under the brutality of Bosco Ntaganda and his forces...This is the first step on the road to peace and ending Eastern Congo’s distinction as the rape capital of the world—a distinction Ntaganda helped perpetuate.”
As Bosco Ntaganda makes his first appearance today at the court in The Hague, the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict continues to call for the prosecution of all perpetrators of rape and gender violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure a lasting and sustainable peace in the region.
For more information on Ntaganda: http://bit.ly/ZERLaU
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The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict
+1 613 569 8400 ext. 112
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict is led by the Nobel Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and an Advisory Committee comprised of 25 organizations working at the international, regional, and community levels to stop rape, together with more than 700 member organizations around the world. The Campaign demands urgent and bold political leadership to prevent rape in conflict, to protect civilians and rape survivors, and calls for justice for all—including effective prosecution of those responsible.