The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today welcomed the surrender of rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.
According to media reports, he walked into the United States Embassy in Rwanda yesterday and turned himself in and asked to be transferred to the ICC in The Hague in the Netherlands.
"The surrender of Bosco Ntaganda and his early transfer to the ICC will help advance the peace process in the DRC," said Roger Meece, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN mission (MONUSCO).
"It will also send a strong signal to other human rights offenders that they are not beyond justice," he added in a news release.
The mission also welcomed the decision of the US to transfer him to the ICC, which has indicted him on seven counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in DRC's Ituri province between 2002 and 2003.
He is accused of being responsible for the use of children in armed conflict and acts of murder, rape and sexual slavery.
The ICC is the first permanent international court set up to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
In addition to the situation in DRC, the Court has ongoing investigations in the Central African Republic, the Darfur region of western Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Libya and Côte d'Ivoire.