UN sanctions DRC election hopeful

2011-11-29 22:48

New York - The UN Security Council on Tuesday added to its sanctions list a Democratic Republic of Congo militia leader who is standing in the country's election, diplomats said.

Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, head of the Mai Mai Sheka group, has been standing for parliament in eastern DR Congo even though he is wanted for his role in mass rapes in 2010.

The French, British and US missions to the United Nations had Sheka added to the list of DR Congo individuals subject to a worldwide travel ban and assets freeze, they announced in a joint statement.

"Our missions strongly encourage the Congolese government to implement the existing arrest warrant currently outstanding against Sheka," the three countries said.

"This designation demonstrates the international community's continued determination to take firm action against those who oppose the disarmament of rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and who are responsible for the recruitment of children and serious human rights abuses," they added.

Sheka has been a candidate in the chaotic and bitterly contested election for the Walikale district of eastern DR Congo where his militia group is accused of leading a campaign of terror over local inhabitants.

Margot Wallstroem, the UN special envoy on sexual violence in the conflict, said last week that it was "completely unacceptable" that Sheka had been allowed to stand in the election.

"Sheka is already indicted for crimes of sexual violence perpetrated against citizens of Walikale," Wallstroem said, adding that asking for the votes of local people in Monday's election was a "grave insult."

Militia fighters under Sheka's leadership are accused of carrying out hundreds of rapes of women and children between July 30 and August 2, 2010 in reprisal attacks against villages they accused of working with government forces.

Read more on:    un  |  drc  |  central africa

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