DRC: ICC to investigate crimes of M23 and ‘other parties’News
Fatou Bensouda, ICC Chief Prosecutor, said the court is looking into the alleged crimes of M23 and ‘other parties’ who might be involved in the conflict. Whereas the ICC had already condemned the actions of rebel leaders such as Bosco Ntaganda and called for his arrest, the Court now seems to expand its investigations to second and third parties in addition to the M23.
‘The Office of the Prosecutor is examining allegations of ICC crimes by members and leaders of M23, and by other parties taking advantage of the chaos in the region’, The Chief Prosecutor, Fatoua Bensouda, declared.
The ICC has been consistent in its call for justice since the uprising in the Kivu region. Fatou Bensouda has repeatedly stated that those responsible for the most serious crimes should be brought to justice while naming Ntaganda as a leading cause of the continuing violations of human rights. The Court has two arrest warrants for Ntaganda the first was issued in 2006 and the second in 2012, over allegations of crimes committed when he was a leader of two armed groups, the Union of Congolese Patriots and the Congrès National Pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP).
While Bensouda did not disclose who the ‘other parties’ outside M23 could be, the ICC also holds an arrest warrant for Sylvestre Mudacumura, who is the head of the FDLR movement. ‘Until Bosco Ntaganda and Sylvestre Mudacumura are arrested and brought to justice, they will continue to be major drivers of instability throughout the entireGreat Lakesregion and one of the biggest threats for civilian populations. States and non-State actors should make arresting Bosco and Mudacumura a top priority’, Bensouda declared.
Rwanda and Uganda are both accused by the UN Group of Experts of being involved in the Eastern DRC war. Rwanda is said to play a substantial role by supporting the armed group M23,Uganda’s involvement is said to be minimal.