WASHINGTON – Bosco Ntaganda, the Congolese warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, lived for years in a comfortable villa in Goma, rubbing elbows with humanitarian workers, Congolese security officials, and in plain view of United Nations peacekeeping mission. Despite his war criminal status, he has remained able to consolidate power and move freely throughout the region with total impunity while amassing a fortune from exploitation of the region’s illicit minerals trade according to a new Enough Project fact sheet that sheds light on the recently defected former general.
Ntaganda, a Congolese Tutsi with links to the government of Rwanda, fought for years with various rebel groups in both Rwanda and Congo before taking over the Rwandan-backed rebel group the CNDP in 2009. At that point Ntaganda’s forces were integrated into the Congolese army in a still opaque peace deal between Rwanda and Congo. Since then he has continued a campaign of corruption, murder, rape, extortion and intimidation, under the umbrella of the Congolese state security apparatus.
Recently, under still murky circumstances, Ntaganda along with some of his forces defected from the Congolese army and retreated to a stronghold north of Goma. Last week, while visiting Goma, Congolese president Joseph Kabila called for Ntaganda’s arrest, making a break with years of tacit official support for Ntanganda’s crimes.
“Ntaganda has been called both a war criminal and a lynchpin to regional stability,” said the Enough Project paper. “Yet as a member and leader of several armed groups, he has left a bloody trail across the eastern Congo.”
Read the fact sheet, “Who is Bosco Ntaganda: Lynchpin to Security or International War Criminal?”