United Nations reports tend be released with little fanfare but often include crucially important research from the field and should be read by anyone interested in better understanding complex crises around the world.
The latest U.N. Group of Experts report on Congo is a perfect example. Released last week, the report, which is mandated by Security Council, is based on research conducted on the ground in eastern Congo during March and April, and is a treasure trove of useful information. It describes in great detail the recent integration of rebel groups into the FARDC and offers insights into continued FDLR atrocities.
Importantly, the report offers even more evidence that Bosco Ntaganda, a rebel leader wanted by to the ICC for war crimes, is working with the FARDC in operations supported by the United Nations, a point MONUC, the peacekeeping mission in Congo, has sought to deny. The experts note:
General Bosco Ntaganda, the former military chief of staff of CNDP (and listed by the Committee since 1 November 2005), is acting as a de facto FARDC deputy commander for military operations in the Kivus in spite of the apparent nomination of Colonel Isidore Kaumbu Nyankole to this post.
According to Reuters, U.N. officials in the region this week provided the government a list of five army officers they wanted arrested for raping women and girls. However, Ntaganda was not included on that list, which, “is baffling,” according to HRW senior researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg. “It undermines international justice and puts at risk the people of eastern Congo, who may face further abuses at his hands," she said.
Photo: Wanted war criminal and alleged Congolese army commander Bosco Ntaganda