Congo: War Criminals Sought

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Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

July 1, 2008: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has charged two Congolese militia commanders (Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and Germain Katanga) with war crimes. The crimes (the murder of 200 people) the men are charged with occurred in 2003 in Equateur province's Ituri region (near the Uganda border). The ICC warrants are a double-edged sword. In the case of Uganda, warrants for LRA leader Joseph Kony have proved to be an obstacle to getting a peace settlement.

June 27, 2008: On June 26, the UN suspended relief supply shipments to the city of Rutshuru (North Kivu province) because of "insecurity". Riots broke out in the town on June 24 and 25. Supply shipments resumed on June 27. Rutshuru has been the scene of clashes between the Congolese Army (FARDC, Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and militias loyal to General Laurent Nkunda.

June 21, 2008: The Congolese Army (FARDC) fought a series of battles with a Mai Mai militia in Orientale province. The government claimed that 29 Mai Mai fighters were killed and the Congolese Army lost four soldiers. The Congolese Army has been conducting a limited offensive in Orientale since late May against militias that have refused to disarm. Some of the operations have taken place in the border region between Orientale and North Kivu province.

June 19, 2008: A relative calm had returned to the western Congo, but ceasefire violations by militias in the eastern Congo continued to be a dangerous problem. The UN report focused on troubles in North Kivu. The Congolese Army and the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) engaged in a series of firefights than began on June 10 when a company of the FARDC's 64th Battalion attacked an FDLR base. On June 14 the FDLR ambushed a Congolese Army unit north of the town of Nyamilima.

June 13, 2008: A firefight broke out between units in an "integrated" Congolese Army brigade, the 14th Brigade in South Kivu province. Many of these "integrated" units contain formers enemies who still don't care for each other. Three men died in the incident.

 

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