WASHINGTON – Congo should heed growing international pressure and arrest wanted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda, the Enough Project said in a new paper. The U.S. government and other donor nations should support and pressure Congo to arrest Ntaganda and other senior commanders, according to the paper.
"Bosco Ntaganda’s mutiny provides an important opportunity for the government of Congo and international actors to take positive steps toward peace and reform in eastern Congo," said Aaron Hall, Enough Project associate director of research. "This turn of events presents the possibility that, finally, the interconnected issues of democratization, security sector reform, justice sector reform, and mineral sector reform could be addressed in conjunction with each other."
Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes including recruitment of child soldiers, was until recently living with impunity in Goma, DRC, as a general in the Congolese army. Last month, Ntaganda defected and launched a rebellion against the government from his stronghold in eastern DRC. This action created the ideal conditions for the Congolese government to arrest Ntaganda, according to the Enough Project report, “Taking the Terminator: Congo’s Golden Opportunity to Deliver a Warlord to Justice.”
The report recommends that the international community supports and pressures the governments of Congo and Rwanda to arrest Ntaganda and the senior commanders, urges the establishment of the Specialized Mixed-Courts system which has been provided for by the government to try war crimes in Congo, pressures the government of Congo to implement security sector reform, and asserts to the governments of Congo and Rwanda that Ntaganda is bad for business by saying that companies will not invest in minerals from rebel-held territories.
On March 31, indicted war criminal and rebel leader turned Congolese General Bosco “The Terminator” Ntaganda launched a rebellion against the Congolese state while facing the threat of arrest and prosecution for war crimes under international and Congolese criminal law.
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo -- On Wednesday, May 2, the Enough Project witnessed FARDC troops firing artillery on the mountaineered forces of Bosco Ntaganda, in the town of Sake, 27 km west of Goma. The fighting forced Ntaganda's rebels to lose ground and reportedly retreat to Kirolirwe near Virunga National Park, 22 km north of Sake. This recent clash is part of the widespread violence that has flared up in eastern Congo since Ntaganda and his fighters defected from the national army on March 29, displacing thousands of people in the region. Read More »
Concluding its first-ever trial, a panel of judges at the International Criminal Court issues a verdict in the case of Thomas Lubanga, finding him guilty of recruiting child soldiers. Lubanga, a Congolese warlord, was found guilty of recruiting, training, and using child soldiers in conflict. His deputy, Bosco Ntaganda, also faces similar charges at the ICC, however, he remains un-apprehended as a general in the Congolese Army, or FARDC.To provide context behind the events surrounding Ntaganda’s recent defection, the Enough Project has produced a new timeline chronicling the major occurrences since the conviction of Ntaganda’s former commander, Thomas Lubanga, by the ICC for three counts of war crimes. The timeline details the actions of Ntaganda, as well as the other defections, troop movements, diplomatic efforts, international involvement and clashes between the mutinous soldiers and the Congolese Army.
On May 1, the Raise Hope for Congo campaign launched “I Am Congo,” a new video series highlighting voices from the ground. The series profiles five inspiring Congolese individuals—Fidel Bafilemba, Amani Matabaro, Denise Siwatula, Petna Ndaliko, and Dominique Bikaba—who are making a difference in their communities. Enough Said will be highlighting each video profile over the coming weeks. Read More »
In a letter sent today to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a coalition of 142 Congolese and international human rights organizations—including the Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and 132 Congolese civil society organizations—called on the U.S. to provide urgent diplomatic leadership supporting the governments of Congo and Rwanda in the arrest of the notorious warlord Bosco Ntaganda. Read More »
We, the 142 undersigned Congolese and international civil society and human rights organizations, call on the government of the United States to provide urgent diplomatic leadership and support to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to arrest Bosco Ntaganda.
By Amnesty International USA, Eastern Congo Initiative, The ENOUGH Project, European Network for Central Africa (EurAc), Human Rights Watch, Humanity United, International Federation for Human Rights, Jewish World Watch, Open Society Foundations, Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project | May 3, 2012
This interview originally appeared on Ebony.com. Journalist Rebecca Carroll spoke with Enough Project’s Robert Padavick to discuss the making of Raise Hope for Congo’s new video series, “I Am Congo,” and the motivation behind it. Read More »
WASHINGTON – The Enough Project commends Maryland for passing a law to curb the global trade in conflict minerals from eastern Congo which fuel ongoing mass atrocities there.
Maryland governor Martin O’Malley signed the bill into law Thursday. The law requires Maryland to not do business with companies that fail to comply with the federal law on conflict minerals, passed in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. A provision in this federal financial reform legislation requires companies to disclose whether they source minerals from DR Congo or its neighbors and to exercise due diligence on their supply chains to determine if their products are not fueling deadly conflict in the central African country.
The state law adds a powerful incentive for companies to comply with federal law by denying them procurement contracts with the state of Maryland. The bill was introduced by Delegate Shane Robinson.
"This law shows that Maryland cares about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and that we have a responsibility to do business with companies that value the social consequences of their decisions," Robinson said. "Hopefully, more state legislatures will pass similar laws that send a message that corporations must be held accountable for social, economic, and environmental impacts at home and abroad in order to earn state contracts."
Tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, all minerals found in consumer electronics, are mined in eastern Congo, where a decade-and-a-half of conflict has resulted in more than 5 million deaths. Armed groups that commit mass rapes and other atrocities make millions of dollars from the minerals trade and control most of the mining operations in a mafia-like cartel.
"The continuous passage of State level legislation in the U.S. shows a growing commitment from consumers and lawmakers to demand that our elected officials and corporate citizens be held responsible for the global impact of investment and supply chain management," said Aaron Hall, Enough Project associate director of research. "Nowhere is this more important than in Eastern Congo, where this demand is manifesting itself in the creation of a reformed mineral sector that will support community and economic growth and decrease violent conflict driven by the trade of conflict minerals."
The Maryland legislation is the second state to deal with Congo conflict minerals after California passed a similar law last year. Similar legislation is also under consideration in Massachusetts. Dozens of college campuses and local governments have passed resolutions pledging to buy only conflict-free products. In June 2010, Stanford University became the first campus in the nation to adopt a policy combating the trade in conflict minerals from Congo.