Democratic Republic of the CongoRwanda
DRC Files New Complaint To ICC Against Rwandan Military And M23 Rebel Group
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Tuesday made a referral plea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure the court focuses on the systematic pillaging of the country’s natural resources by Rwandan forces and the M23 rebel group, reported The US News.
The ICC already has had an ongoing investigation into eastern Congo since 2004. It currently remains unclear if the new referral would shift the court’s focus.
“The government of the DRC remains deeply concerned about the suffering of the populations in the part of its territory affected by the acts referred to in this case,” the DRC Justice Ministry said in a statement.
The statement added that the aim of another referral with the ICC would be to investigate and hold responsible anyone found involved in human rights violations between 2022 and 2023.
ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan is scheduled to visit rebel-affected provinces of DRC from Sunday, May 28, to Wednesday, May 31.
Last year, the M23 rebel group came out of dormancy and launched a fresh offensive, seizing vast swathes of land in various towns and villages in the area bordering Uganda. The fighting led to the displacement of more than 1 million people.
The DRC has accused Rwanda of providing support to the M23 rebels. But, the Rwandan government denies having any involvement. The United States (US), France, and other Western countries as well as the United Nations (UN) have made similar allegations. But, Rwanda’s government has refuted all the accusations, claiming that it is being scapegoated for DRC’s military incompetence.
Back in March, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi called out French President Emmanuel Macron to impose international sanctions against Rwanda for supporting the M23 rebels. He appealed to Macron for sanctions against Rwanda, saying that he remained doubtful about the good faith of those who attacked his country.