United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, said on Wednesday that it would support an arrest warrant against a warlord who has been accused of atrocities in North Kivu province in the north of the country.
The warrant names Guidon Shimiray Mwissa, the head of a group of rebels called NDC-R, who is accused of recruiting child soldiers, committing crimes against humanity via rape, and taking part in efforts to cause an insurrection, according to an arrest warrant from the military prosecutor's office and seen by RFI.
Mwissa, 39, is currently under UN, United States, and French sanctions for offenses against civilians.
"We will support the Congolese military prosecutors in executing this warrant," said MONUSCO spokesperson Florence Marchal. "Since the beginning of the year, nearly 300 allegations of conflict-related sexual violence have been reported in the Masisi territory," she said, in reference to an area of North Kivu.
Some 111 cases of human rights abuses were verified between January and April, said Marchal, and half were allegedly carried out by NDC-R.
Congolese President FelixTshisekedi said after taking office in January that quelling militia atrocities in the eastern part of the country would be a priority.
There are numerous armed groups in the eastern part of the country, a source of rare earth minerals such as coltan. Militias waged a war from 1998 to 2003 that killed millions of people there.