THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (BNO NEWS) -- The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for two Rwandan and Congolese warlords who are accused of committing numerous war crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during the past decade, court officials said on Friday.
The arrest warrants were issued for Rwandan rebel group leader Sylvestre Mudacumura and Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda, who are both accused of committing war crimes in the DRC. Both warrants were issued following submitted requests to the ICC in May of this year, and the arrest warrant for Ntaganda is his second from the UN-backed court.
Mudacumura, 58, is the supreme commander of the Rwandan rebel group best known by its French name the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), or the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. The group, which is accused of committing attacks and atrocities such as rapes and killings, is composed almost entirely of ethnic Hutus who fled from Rwanda after the genocide of 1994.
The ICC's arrest warrant said the court has reasonable grounds to believe that Mudacumura is responsible for nine counts of war crimes which were committed between January 2009 and September 2010 in the DRC. The counts consist of attacking civilians, murder, mutilation, cruel treatment, rape, torture, destruction of property, pillaging and outrages against personal dignity.
Meanwhile, a new arrest warrant was issued for Ntaganda, 41, who is currently a general in the DRC's national army. He is accused of committing four counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity between September 2002 and September 2003 in the DRC.
The counts of crimes against humanity consist of murder, rape and sexual slavery, and persecution. The counts of war crimes consist of murder, attacks against the civilian population, rape and sexual slavery, and pillaging. The court said his arrest is necessary to prevent him from continuing to carry out crimes in the DRC, which is within the ICC's jurisdiction.
The ICC's first arrest warrant for Ntaganda was issued in August 2006. The warrant accused him of committing three counts of war crimes against civilians in the DRC's Ituri region from 2002 to 2003. The counts are the enlistment of children under the age of 15, conscription of children under the age of 15, and using children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities.
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