Bosco Ntaganda

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Bosco Ntaganda
Born (1972-11-05) 5 November 1972 (age 46)
Kiningi, Rwanda
Other namesThe Terminator[2]
Jean Bosco Ntaganda[3]
Known forIndicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes

Bosco Ntaganda (born 5 November 1972)[4] is the military chief of staff of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), an armed militia group operating in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).[5][6] He is a former member of the Rwandan Patriotic Army[5] and allegedly a former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).

Until March 2013, he was wanted by the International Criminal Court for the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of fifteen and using them to participate actively in hostilities. Prior to his surrender he had been allegedly involved in the rebel group March 23 Movement. On 18 March 2013 he voluntarily handed himself into the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda, asking to be transferred to the International Criminal Court. On 22 March, he was taken into custody by the International Criminal Court. He is also known as "The Terminator".[2][7]

Early life[edit]

Ntaganda was born in the small town of Kinigi, situated in the foothills of Rwanda's Virunga mountain range in Musanze.[2] When he was a teenager, he fled to Ngungu-Masisi in eastern DR Congo after attacks on his fellow ethnic Tutsis started taking place in Rwanda. He attended secondary school there but did not graduate; at the age of 17, he joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front rebels in southern Uganda.[2] At some point he acquired Congolese citizenship.[8]

Rwandan and Congolese military career[edit]

Ntaganda fought with the Rwandan Patriotic Army in the early 1990s and participated in the overthrow of the Hutu-led Rwandan government in 1994 following the Rwandan Genocide.[5] He subsequently joined the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (Forces Patriotiques pour la libération du Congo, FPLC), the military wing of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), and became its chief of military operations. During this time, he is alleged to have been involved in numerous massacres and other serious human rights abuses.[5] When Ntaganda was in charge of the UPC Ntaganda told child soldiers: When you're a soldier, you get a woman for free. Everything is free.[9]

In January 2005, Ntaganda was appointed a general in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of a peace process, but he refused the offer.[5] On 1 November 2005, a United Nations Security Council committee imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on him for violating an arms embargo.[7]

In 2006, following conflicts within the UPC, he returned to North Kivu, his home province, and joined Laurent Nkunda's National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP).[5][10] As of April 2008, he was believed to be living in the Masisi district of North Kivu, serving as the CNDP's chief of staff.[11] The CNDP has now been incorporated into the regular Congolese armed forces and Ntaganda was acting as a General in the army, despite being wanted by the ICC.[12]

In 2012, he was living openly in the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[13] on Avenue des Tulipiés, about 100 yards from the Rwandan border.[14]

According to DRC authorities, General Bosco Ntaganda had "crossed from Goma to the town of Gisenyi, Rwanda, twice in 2011, in March and again in September, despite the travel ban imposed on him. Congolese authorities reported that on both occasions Ntaganda had gone there to attend a burial, having sought official authorization to do so from his military hierarchy and from immigration authorities. Rwandan officials told the Group that they have no objections to Ntaganda's crossing the border. They claim that his status as a sanctioned individual “is not a Rwandan problem, but a Democratic Republic of the Congo problem”, adding that “Bosco contributes to peace and security to the region, which converges with Rwanda's aims".[15][better source needed]

The UN Group of Experts reported in late 2011 that Ntaganda controls the Mungwe and Fungamwaka mines, near Numbi, through the Great Lakes Mining Company, managed by Edson Musabarura. Ntaganda also derived profits from mineral exploitation at Nyabibwe, through his alliance with Colonel Saddam Ringo. At Rubaya, Ntaganda gains large revenues from taxation levied by "parallel" mine police. Ntaganda ordered his troops to intervene on behalf of Krall Metal Congo at Lueshe.[16]

On 4 April 2012, it was reported that Ntaganda and 300 loyal troops defected from the DRC and clashed with government forces in the Rutshuru region North of Goma.[17] On 11 April 2012, president Joseph Kabila called for Ntaganda's arrest.[18] On 16 March 2013, Sultani Makenga's forces "seized control ... of the town of Kibumba ... Ntaganda and an estimated 200 fighters fled into the forest while hundreds of others crossed the border into Rwanda," including "about 300 uniformed M23 rebels loyal to Ntaganda."[19]

Indictment by the International Criminal Court[edit]

On 22 August 2006, a Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Ntaganda bore individual criminal responsibility for war crimes committed by the FPLC between July 2002 and December 2003, and issued a warrant for his arrest. He was charged with the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of fifteen and using them to participate actively in hostilities.[citation needed] The arrest warrant was originally issued under seal because the court decided that "public knowledge of the proceedings in this case might result in Bosco Ntaganda hiding, fleeing, and/or obstructing or endangering the investigations or the proceedings of the Court". In April 2008, the court ruled that circumstances had changed and unsealed the warrant.[11]

On 18 March 2013, Ntaganda handed himself in to the U.S. embassy in Kigali, Rwanda,[20] where he requested transfer to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.[21] Though the reasons for his surrender are unknown it was speculated that he was either pressured to do so by Rwanda or feared infighting within the M23 movement and its military leader Sultani Makenga, which had recently militarily forced a faction around Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero and Baudouin Ngaruye, which was allegedly connected to Ntaganda, to flee the DRC into Rwanda. Though Rwanda was not a signatory to the Rome Statute, the media speculated it would be forced to turn him over to the ICC. The U.S. also had listed him on its War Crimes Rewards Program.[22] On 22 March, he was detained by the ICC.[23] He made his first appearance before the ICC on 26 March.[24] At his first appearance before the ICC in the Hague on 26 March 2013, Ntaganda denied his guilt.[8]


Ntaganda's trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) began on 3 September 2015. He pleaded not guilty to eighteen charges brought against him, including rape, murder, recruitment of child soldiers and sexual slavery of civilians. The trial is expected to last many months with the prosecution calling eighty witnesses, thirteen of them expert and the rest victims. Three of the victims expected to testify will be former child-soldiers in Ntaganda's Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).[25][26][27][28][29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas Escritt, Congo Warlord Denies Guilt in First Appearance at Hague Court, Reuters (26 Mar. 2013 8:03 AM EDT).
  2. ^ a b c d Penny Dale (15 May 2012). "Profile: Bosco Ntaganda the Congolese 'Terminator'". BBC News.
  3. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey (25 January 2009). "With Leader Captured, Congo Rebel Force Is Dissolving". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Retrieved on 13 May 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Human Rights Watch (29 April 2008). DR Congo: Suspected War Criminal Wanted. Retrieved on 13 May 2008.
  6. ^ Nkunda Faces ICC Dilemma. Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 1 May 2008. Retrieved on 9 October 2011.
  7. ^ a b Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo (7 November 2007). "List of individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 13 and 15 of Security Council Resolution 1596 (2005)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2014. (52.3 KB). Retrieved on 13 May 2008.
  8. ^ a b "Congo warlord denies guilt in first appearance at Hague court". Reuters. 26 March 2013.
  9. ^ Van Reybrouck, David (2011). Congo: een geschiedenis. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij. ISBN 978-9023458661.
  10. ^ Bavier, Joe (9 May 2008). Congo rebels demand proof of ICC suspect's guilt. Reuters. Retrieved on 13 May 2008.
  11. ^ a b Warrant of Arrest against Bosco Ntaganda unsealed press release International Criminal Court, 29 April 2008. Retrieved on 9 October 2011
  12. ^ Congo conflict: 'The Terminator' lives in luxury while peacekeepers look on theguardian, 5 February 2010. Retrieved on 9 October 2011
  13. ^ I Can Find an Indicted Warlord. So Why isn't He in The Hague? Mother Jones, September/October 2011. Retrieved on 14 March 2012
  14. ^ UCLA Law Students Locate Compound of Congolese Militia Leader Wanted by International Criminal Court Retrieved on 14 March 2012
  15. ^ United Nations Group of Experts, S/2011/738, p.149
  16. ^ UN Group of Experts, S/2011/738, p.150
  17. ^ 4 April 2012
  18. ^ "Congo's 'Terminator': Kabila calls for Ntaganda arrest". BBC News. 11 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Defeated Congo rebels surrender". Reuters / Gulf Times. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  20. ^ "Bosco Ntaganda: Wanted Congolese in US mission in Rwanda". BBC News. 18 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune.
  22. ^ "The surrender of Bosco Ntaganda". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  23. ^ Corder, Mike (22 March 2013). "International court detains Rwandan-born warlord". USA Today.
  24. ^ "DR Congo's Ntaganda appears before ICC". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Trial of Congo war crimes suspect begins at ICC". JURIST.
  26. ^ "In The Hague, trial opens for Congo warlord Bosco Ntaganda". Deutsche Welle.
  27. ^ Holligan, Anna. "DR Congo's Bosco Ntaganda pleads not guilty at ICC trial". BBC News.
  28. ^ Simons, Marlise. "War Crimes Trial Opens for Bosco Ntaganda, Congolese Rebel Leader". The New York Times.
  29. ^ Soi, Catherine. "Congolese warlord Bosco 'Terminator' Ntaganda on trial". Al Jazeera.

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