By Joe Bavier, Reuters, Printed in Washington Post, 28 April 2009
KINSHASA (Reuters) – United Nations peacekeepers are supporting a Congolese army offensive in which a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) is playing a prominent role, Congolese army documents showed on Wednesday.
An April 4 Congolese internal army (FARDC) report seen by Reuters refers to Jean Bosco Ntaganda as “deputy coordinator” for the offensive in eastern Congo against Hutu rebels.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Ntaganda — known as “the Terminator” — last year. Prosecutors in The Hague accuse him of recruiting children under the age of 14 to fight in Ituri in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.
MONUC said in January it would not take part in any operation involving Ntaganda. But a MONUC report sent to the mission’s head, Alan Doss, on April 8 showed that U.N. officials were told of Ntaganda’s position within the army’s structure.
“His role up to now is that of advisor to General (Dieudonne) Amuli for the operations,” Colonel Delphin Kahimbi, the army’s commander of operations for South Kivu, told Reuters last week.
The U.N. mission in Congo, MONUC, is providing logistical and military support for the army’s efforts to combat a rebel resurgence in North Kivu. It is also backing the FARDC as it prepares to extend operations into neighboring South Kivu.