President Joseph Kabila said today that Congolese authorities would arrest the now fugitive former rebel leader turned Congolese army general and ICC indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda. "I want to arrest Bosco Ntaganda because the whole population wants peace," said President Kabila from the town of Goma in eastern Congo's North Kivu province.
President Kabila traveled to Goma earlier in the week with a delegation of senior political and military leaders from Kinshasa seemingly to put pressure on the leaders of rebellious factions of the Congolese national army, or FARDC, who were loyal to Ntaganda. Most of these troops were previously members of the ethnic Tutsi rebel group the National Congress for the Defense of the People, or CNDP, which was linked to the Rwandan government. The FARDC subsumed elements of the CNDP after a 2009 peace agreement between the group and the Congolese government.
Early last week, Ntaganda ordered FARDC troops loyal to him to defect from their ranks to protect him from what he saw as increasing domestic and international pressure to deliver him to The Hague or that might lead to his assassination. One third of the ex-CNDP soldiers under his command initially defected-roughly 600 troops-and since then around 100 troops and a number of high-level commanders have reportedly returned to the FARDC and await disciplinary action.[view whole blog post ]