HRW criticises Rwanda's UN council seat

2012-06-19 08:52
Bosco-Ntaganda, who is said to be leading the mutiny in eastern Democratic republic of Congo. (AFP, File picture)

Bosco-Ntaganda, who is said to be leading the mutiny in eastern Democratic republic of Congo. (AFP, File picture)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Human Rights Watch criticised Rwanda's virtual guarantee of a seat on the UN Security Council next year, saying on Monday it shouldn't be on the UN's most powerful body when it is protecting a Congolese ex-warlord indicted by the International Criminal Court.

The African Union in February selected Rwanda to replace South Africa on the Security Council for a two-year term starting on January 1. Since Rwanda is the only candidate for the seat, its election by the UN General Assembly in September is virtually assured.

Earlier this month, HRW accused Rwanda's military of providing weapons and refuge to ex-warlord Bosco Ntaganda, whose fighters have launched a new rebellion in neighbouring eastern Congo.

The ICC has sought his arrest for war crimes since 2006, though Congo's government had allowed him to operate freely as a general in its army, only recently vowing to capture him.

Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo has dismissed HRW's claims as "categorically false and dangerous".

Implicated in crimes against children

HRW's UN director, Philippe Bolopion, said on Monday if Rwanda wants to be a responsible Security Council member it should cut off all support for Ntaganda, actively seek to arrest him, and surrender him to the ICC.

"By allowing its territory to be used to protect and arm an ICC-indicted war criminal, Rwanda is making a mockery of the decisions of the same Security Council it is slated to join next year," Bolopion told AP.

"Bosco Ntaganda is not only implicated in horrendous crimes against civilians including children, he is also undermining everything the Security Council has tried to achieve at great expense in the region for the last decade."

Rwanda's UN Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana said on Monday that Rwanda was the unanimous choice of the African Union for a council seat and "all member states know very well ... that Rwanda today is among the top six contributors in the world of UN peacekeepers".

"So it's kind of surreal to think that that very country which is critically involved in the peace and security around the world - on the one hand - would on the other hand think that we would be troublemakers," Gasan told AP. "We can't shoot ourselves in the foot."

Feared warlord

He said Mushikiwabo is currently in Congo to discuss the upsurge in fighting in the east and to support efforts to bring peace and security to the region.

Eastern Congo has been engulfed in fighting since the 1994 Rwanda genocide, in which at least 500 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu militias before a Tutsi-led rebel army took power in Rwanda.

More than 1 million Rwandan Hutus fled across the border into Congo, and Rwanda has invaded Congo to take action against Hutu militias there.

Ntaganda, who is a Tutsi, was a feared warlord until he joined the Congolese army in 2009 as a general following a peace deal that paved the way for him and his men to be integrated into the military.

He was allowed to live freely in the provincial capital of Goma, despite the ICC arrest warrant, but in late April the peace deal fell apart and Ntaganda and his troops defected from the army.

- AP

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  un  |  hrw  |  bosco ntaganda  |  rwanda  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.