Friday, March 22, 2013
A War Crimes Suspect Turns Himself In
Bosco Ntaganda was wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). His alleged crimes include recruiting child soldiers, murder, and rape.
This week, he walked into the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda to turn himself in and to be transferred to the Netherlands for trial before the ICC.
“The surrender of Bosco Ntaganda and his early transfer to the ICC will help advance the peace process in the DRC,” said Roger Meece, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO). “It will also send a strong signal to other human rights offenders that they are not beyond justice.”
This is an important event in international criminal justice. A suspect who turns himself in shows respect for the international criminal court and for the basic principles of international law.
The United States found itself is a complicated positiion by not being a party to the International Criminal Court. Rwanda, as well, is not a party to the International Criminal Court. However a team from the ICC is reportedly traveling to Rwanda to accomplish the transfer and it reportedly has assurances from the Rwandan government that they will not prohibit his transfer to the Hague.