On 30 July 2010 human rights activist Bwira wrote an open letter to president Kabila. In that letter he denounced the fact that ex-rebels who had committed serious crimes were recruited by the army in East Congo without any problem at all. He cited the case of Ntaganda and deplored that the Congo tolerates impunity by not extraditing him to The Hague. Bwira asked to assert the state’s authority in Masisi – a reference to the parallel administration – and to apply the rotating mechanism, distributing soldiers over the entire Congolese territory, to ex-CNDP members as well, and therefore not to give in to their demand to stay in East Congo. Some days later Bwira got several phone calls from a certain colonel Janvier, who claimed to be working for Ntaganda’s cabinet. Janvier invited Bwira to Ntaganda’s office. Bwira refused the invitation, but felt increasingly insecure. He was kidnapped on 24 August, as he was preparing to flee to Kinshasa. ‘Two soldiers came up to me and said: “Either you step into our car, ou bien on te sabote ici.” Some discussion followed and I had to lie down on the car floor, their legs resting on me. I was locked up in a cellar, just after noon, my upper arms tied with fine plastic wire. In other words, in exactly the same manner as they would later tie up Fabrice. ‘In the middle of the night I was blindfolded and had to lie down in the back of a 4×4, with the spare wheel on top of me. In the morning, we arrived at an underground deposit. “Take that thing and lock it up”, I heard someone say. The were speaking Rwandan. “All the cells are full”, replied the guards Read full report here PDF.
Dossier by Stefano Valentino, John Vandaele and Anneke Verbraeken