After the conviction and sentencing of Thomas Lubanga, calls for the arrest of his collaborator, Bosco Ntaganda intensified. But, Bosco’s surrender to the US Embassy on March 18 was never predicted by any analyst of the CRD conflict.
An impressive security detail accompanies him everywhere, clearly he was afraid. His fear was so great that he swore he would never be brought alive by theInternational Criminal Court (ICC) to The Hague. This is why he never traveled by boat or airplane for fear that he could be caught, and did not accept to be deployed to provinces other than the Kivus.
Bosco’s fall started late 2012 when the UN released the “Addendum to the interim report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2012/348) concerning violations of the arms embargo and sanctions” against the regime by the Government of Rwanda. As a result the US withheld $200,000 funding destined to the Rwanda military and other European countries followed suit. This gave President Paul Kagame no other choice than to be on the defensive. This pressure was big enough to disrupt Rwanda’s management and support of its proxy war against the RDC through the M23 rebel group. M23 is a “rebranding” of Rwanda’s former proxy rebel group, the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP).
Ethnic and loyalty conflicts that existed within CNDP which continued in M23 got out of hand and deepened the divisions between Sultani Makenga and Bosco Ntaganda. The combination of these conflicts and the international community pressure on Rwanda pushed M23 to the edge and a deadly fight broke out between the two sides. Bosco’s camp lost the fight due to lack of munitions. Credible sources confirm that money exchanged hands between the DRC government and Makenga before the split and that the Rwandan army intervened on Makenga’s side to neutralize Bosco. Also, the Rwandan government or any other government played no role in facilitating Bosco’s surrender. Had the Rwandan government had him, it would not have released him to the ICC because Rwanda is not signatory to the Rome statute.
The US government had promised $5 million to whoever was going to help arrest Bosco. In addition on December 18, 2012 President Barack Obama called Rwandan President Paul Kagame and asked him to “permanently end all support to armed groups in the DRC”
Jacques Bahati’s take on BOSCO Ntaganda’s surrender is the 3rd story in this VOA broadcast