War criminal Bosco Ntaganda has reportedly surrendered to the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda. This is something to celebrate.
Like Joseph Kony, Bosco Ntaganda has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is the arrest warrant that was issued in 2006 for crimes committed in the early 2000s. Despite the arrest warrant, he was never apprehended. In the years since, he has continued to commit horrendous crimes.
In 2008 Ntaganda ordered the massacre of 150 people in a single day. In 2012 Ntaganda joined leadership of the Congolese rebel group known as M23, and for the past year M23 has been pillaging, raping, and murdering civilians, resulting in the displacement of at least 300,000 people in DR Congo.
After all these years we don’t know why Ntaganda chose to surrender now, but we hope that the United States will take this unexpected opportunity and see him delivered to the International Criminal Court. If sent to the ICC, Ntaganda will be tried for his crimes on the world stage and it will set a precedent for the future of international criminal justice–and potentially a precedent for the trial of Joseph Kony.
Every time a war criminal is apprehended and tried by the ICC, the international justice mechanism grows stronger. One by one.
We at Invisible Children will be following this story carefully in the coming months, so check back for more analysis and details as they become available.
Photo credit: Reuters via Guardian