Arusha, May 5, 2012 (FH) - General Bosco Ntaganda is to be arrested for leading a recent mutiny in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC), North Kivu governor Julien Paluku declared on Wednesday.

1 min 9Approximate reading time

According to Radio Okapi, Julien Pakulu announced during a Press Conference held in Goma that: "the Congolese government has asked me to communicate the following... Everything that is happening currently in Masisi is under the responsibility of General Bosco Ntaganda and he should be sought for that".

A former rebel leader, Ntaganda was integrated into the Congolese army under a 2009 peace deal, in which he received Kinshasa's protection against an arrest warrant for war crimes issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2006 for using child soldiers under 15 years in his militia.

He was until last month in charge of a large contingent based in the North Kivu provincial capital, Goma.

In April, 2012, former members of Ntaganda’s militia defected from the the Congolese National Army (FARDC) and regrouped as a rebel force, citing unpaid salaries and inhumane living.

Some of the defectors attacked army troops on April 29, in North Kivu province, which borders Rwanda, and clashes have continued in the surrounding areas. Ntaganda has rejected claims of destabilizing the region, saying he was not involved in the clashes.

"He is implicated in this case of indiscipline, and he is wanted for that," Julien Paluku stated. “As a wanted man, if our units get their hands on him, he must be presented first to the Congolese judiciary to answer his actions," he added.

President Joseph Kabila has been under pressure to arrest Ntaganda since his indictment in 2006. On April 11, Kabila he quoted as expressing his willingness to arrest the general, but pointed out that his government would not be forced to act "under pressure from the international community.”