DR Congo's Bosco 'Terminator' Ntaganda's anger at ICC

Congolese rebel leader Gen Bosco Ntaganda on 11 January 2009 at his mountain base in Kabati The ICC issued its arrest warrant for Gen Ntaganda six years ago

A renegade general in the Democratic Republic of Congo has told the BBC his war crimes indictment is based on lies.

Bosco Ntaganda has been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006 for recruiting child soldiers.

He also denied involvement in last month's army mutiny in eastern DR Congo and said he had no fighters with him.

Known as the "Terminator", he is accused of masterminding the recent unrest and fighting after pressure increased for him to be arrested.

The ICC prosecutor accuses him of recruiting child fighters in the north-eastern region of Ituri for the same rebel group as Thomas Lubanga, who in March became the first person to be convicted of war crimes by the court.

Gen Ntaganda, who has fought for various militias over the years, went on to lead the CNDP rebel group, which was integrated into the Congolese army in 2009 as part of a peace deal.

An internal UN report seen by the BBC on Monday accused neighbouring Rwanda of supplying weapons and soldiers to rebels linked to Gen Ntaganda in eastern DR Congo. Kigali rejected the report.

In an interview with the BBC's Great Lakes Service, Gen Ntaganda accused the ICC of being biased against Africans.

"Are there people from Ituri that accuse me? Does the prosecutor in The Hague love the people of Ituri more than the Iturians themselves - it is lies, it is lies, they should stop lying to Africans," he said.

He also dismissed as "lies" the claims that he was involved in the current rebellion involving former CNDP fighters which has displaced tens of thousands from their homes.

The 'Terminator' at a glance

  • Born in 1973
  • Fled to DR Congo as a teenager after attacks on ethnic Tutsis
  • At 17, he began his fighting days - alternating between being a rebel and a soldier, in both Rwanda and DR Congo
  • Indicted in 2006 by the ICC for allegedly recruiting child soldiers
  • In charge of troops that carried out the 2008 Kiwanji massacre
  • Integrated in 2009 into the Congolese army and made a general
  • In 2012, he defects from the army

"What soldiers? I have no soldiers, I'm in my farm in Masisi," Gen Ntaganda said.

But he said the mutineers - known as M23 - were angry that the deal agreed with the government had been been adhered to.

"What I want to be done is for the president of Congo to implement the agreement we agreed before I was integrated into the national army.

"There was an agreement signed on 23 March 2009 - if that agreement is implemented that problem would be over and it's not complicated."

Before the 2009 peace deal, the CNDP militia threatened to invade Goma, leading some 250,000 people to flee.

People in and around the town of Goma blame these troops for persistent unrest - including looting and rape - since the formal end of DR Congo's war in 2003.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories

RSS

Features

  • Alana Saarinen at pianoMum, Dad and Mum

    The girl with three biological parents


  • Polish and British flags alongside British roadsideWar debt

    Does the UK still feel a sense of obligation towards Poles?


  • Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Who backs IS?

    Where Islamic State finds support to become a formidable force


  • Bride and groom-to-be photographed underwaterWetted bliss

    Chinese couples told to smile, but please hold your breath


  • A ship is dismantled for scrap in the port city of Chittagong, BangladeshDangerous work

    Bangladesh's ship breakers face economic challenge


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.