In a February 1 public letter Human Rights Watch urged Congolese President Joseph Kabila to turn over former rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court. Ntaganda was recently considered for a top position in the Congolese army. According to Afrol News:
The rights body call came amid a proposed appointment of Mr Ntaganda to a top position in the Congolese army after ousting Laurent Nkunda, a commander of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) group based in eastern DR Congo. According to a public letter addressed to Congolese President Joseph Kabila, HRW urged the judiciary to apprehend Mr Ntaganda for his alleged involvement in recruiting child soldiers in eastern DRC.
In the HRW statement, Param-Preet Singh, counsel to the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch stated, “Giving an officer accused of such heinous crimes responsibility in military operations increases the likelihood of more attacks on civilians. The government is risking the lives of its people, as well as ignoring its legal obligations.”
Ntaganda has been wanted by the ICC since April 2008. He is co-accused in the trial of Thomas Lubanga. According to HRW, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has an international obligation to turn over Ntaganda to the court.