Thursday April 3 2014

Some M23 held rebels to face ICC

By Risdel Kasasira


Some M23 rebels currently camped and guarded in Bihanga UPDF training wing in western Uganda might face trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem has said.

Yesterday, Mr Oryem said Kinshasa is expected to draw a list of rebels to be reintegrated into the national army, those to be retired and others to face trial for crimes against humanity.

“DRC is supposed to pass the list to the mediator (Defence minister Crispus Kiyonga) and share it with the guarantors of the agreement. Those who committed crimes against humanity, including rape, killing and recruiting children, might be face trial at the ICC,” he said.

At least 143 M23 rebels are in Bihanga, Ibanda District, waiting to be repatriated back to Congo, five months after they were defeated and pushed into the country by the Congolese government forces.

The agreement signed in Nairobi between Kinshasa government and the M23 rebels on December 12, last year gave M23 rebels partial amnesty and M23 to become a political party. Mr Oryem said Uganda was pushing Kinshasa to implement the agreement.

“We want this process to end so that they stop accusing us of harbouring and arming M23,” the minister said.

Previously, Rwanda and Uganda have been accused of supporting the M23 rebels, who are now disarmed and waiting for Kinshasa, the former enemy at the war frontline to determine their fate.

The Congolese ambassador in Uganda, Mr Jean-Charles Okot Lolakombe, said he would address a press conference today at Congolese embassy in Kampala.

Justice. Congo government is expected to draw a list of those who committed crimes against humanity while others will be reintergrated into the national army.