Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Friday that Congo President Joseph Kabila should immediately arrest General Bosco Ntaganda and deliver him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to face charges of enlisting children and using them in hostile activities. Although an arrest warrant [text] was issued by the ICC in 2006 and made public [JURIST report] in 2008, Kabila suggested in a public statement earlier this month that he was considering arresting Ntaganda. Although HRW acknowledges that this suggestion is a significant step and shows a positive change in the government's policies, HRW Senior Africa Researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg said the president needs to act on his statements immediately and deliver Ntaganda to The Hague for trial.
HRW urged the Congo government [JURIST report] in July at a conference at the Holocaust Memorial Museum [official website] in Washington to arrest Ntaganda. The group also urged his arrest [JURIST report] in 2010, expressing outrage that Ntaganda was free to walk around and continue committing crimes against humanity without being brought to justice. The ICC originally issued the warrant under seal, so it was not made public, out of fear that if Ntaganda knew it had been issued he would flee and go into hiding. It was unsealed in 2008 because ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo decided help from other entities might be needed to execute his arrest.