Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) released a statement on the arrest of Laurent Nkunda, and, as usual, he hits all the right notes:
I welcome the arrest of Laurent Nkunda and the commitment demonstrated by the Congolese and Rwandan militaries to work together to disarm illegal armed groups in eastern Congo. I hope this cooperation will continue and Nkunda’s removal will prove to be a decisive step toward lasting peace and stability for the region. Nonetheless, capitalizing on this breakthrough will require sustained political will to dismantle Nkunda’s army and develop a comprehensive approach to disarming the rebel Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération de Rwanda. Given the history of past military operations, I am concerned that the current offensive will not sufficiently differentiate between combatants and civilians, putting countless innocent people in danger. I urge the Congolese and Rwandan militaries to coordinate their operations with the UN peacekeepers in Congo, and to prioritize civilian protection.
At the same time, any lasting peace depends on ending the culture of impunity and absence of rule of law in eastern Congo. To that end, I am deeply troubled by reports that the Congolese government has agreed to an immunity deal with Nkunda’s deputy, Bosco Ntaganda. Bosco, nicknamed ‘The Terminator,’ has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for conscripting child soldiers and orchestrating massacres in eastern Congo. I urge the international community to work with the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to ensure that individuals accused of orchestrating war crimes and crimes against humanity in eastern Congo are held accountable.