Ottawa, Canada – March 18, 2013
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict calls on the United States government to immediately transfer Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Ntaganda has been indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity including sexual violence.
The US State Department and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs have confirmed that Ntaganda turned himself in to the US embassy in Kigali on Monday. Ntaganda, known as “the Terminator,” is a former government soldier and rebel leader whose forces have committed mass atrocities in Eastern Congo, in a conflict that has disproportionately been played out on the bodies of women and girls of the country.
“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,” said Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, Co-Chair of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict. “The United States and Rwanda must now rapidly transfer Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court so he can face justice. 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.”
Ntaganda has committed widespread human rights abuses during his time with the Forces Patriotiques pour la libération du Congo in Ituri province and with the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple in North Kivu. In 2009, he integrated into the Congolese national army and was promoted to the rank of general. His defection from the army in 2012 sparked a new rebellion known as the M23 and which has resulted in renewed conflict in the region.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Ntaganda in 2006 for war crimes and crimes against humanity including massacres, torture, recruitment of child soldiers, and sexual violence. A spokesperson for the US State Department stated that Ntaganda specifically requested for transfer to the International Criminal Court and the United States was working to facilitate this request. The United States has not ratified the Rome Statute and is not party to the ICC.
The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict calls on the United States to ensure Ntaganda is immediately surrendered to ICC authorities so he can account for his crimes.
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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.