Theatre of the absurd: War crimes suspect surrenders but will he get to the ICC?


It is a given that you think of crimes against innocent people if you’re based in Haiti.


The International Criminal Court’s headquarters in The Hague

So, to Rwanda and the news that emanated from there today. Could there be anything more absurd than this? The Democratic Republic of Congo war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda handed himself over to the US embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali earlier today. He asked to be transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But neither the US nor Rwanda recognise the ICC.

So what’s going to happen now?

It is a given that something – solid, right and publicly seen to be right – happen now. General Ntaganda, who was born in a small town on the Rwandan side of the border, has been called ‘The Terminator’. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for him in 2006. He is accused of of conscripting child soldiers, murder, ethnic persecution and rape. He was an important player, mostly for the bad, during nearly 20 years of conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Eastern Congo’s history of atrocities, perpetrated at the hands of warlords, demands closure of some sort. If General Ntaganda were tried, that would be a start.