[QODLink]
Africa

DR Congo warlord leaves Rwanda for The Hague

Bosco Ntaganda on his way to International Criminal Court in The Hague in custody of ICC officials.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2013 14:48

Democratic Republic of Congo rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda has left Rwanda with International Criminal Court officials for trial in The Hague, officials said.

"Bosco Ntaganda has just taken off from Kigali in custody of ICC officials," Rwandan foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a message on her Twitter account on Friday, referring to the Congo warlord dubbed 'The Terminator'.

Ntaganda surprised US embassy staff in Kigali on Monday when he walked in off the street and asked for help in reaching the ICC, where he is wanted on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The ICC also confirmed on Friday that he had left Kigali and was "heading to the ICC detention centre in The Hague" in The Netherlands.

"This is the first time that a suspect has surrendered himself voluntarily to be in the ICC's custody," the court said in a statement, thanking American, Dutch and Rwandan authorities for their support.

US Secretary of State John Kerry says he welcomes the removal of Ntaganda from Rwanda to the ICC.

Ntaganda is wanted on seven charges of war crimes and three of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in DR Congo.

He was allegedly involved in the brutal murder of at least 800 people in villages in the eastern DR Congo, using child soldiers in his rebel army and keeping women as sex slaves between September 2002 and September 2003.

On arrival in The Hague, Ntaganda will receive a medical checkup before appearing "as soon as possible" before judges, where he will then be read the charges against him.

A date will also be set at that point for the "opening of the confirmation of charges hearing, a preliminary step to decide whether the case will be referred to a trial or not," the ICC added.

297

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list