The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced new war crimes charges against two warlords operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rebel leader General Jean Bosco Ntaganda and Sylvestre Mudacumura.
Ntaganda and Mudacumura are two of the "most dangerous" men in a region where millions of people have been killed over the past two decades of conflict, AFP quoted ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo as saying on Monday.
Ntaganda, known by the nom-de-guerre "Terminator" due to his brutal methods, has been wanted by the ICC since 2006 on war crimes charges, including recruiting child soldiers.
Moreno-Ocampo said he intended to include charges of crimes against humanity for murder, ethnic persecution, rape, and sexual slavery. In addition, he said he wanted to file war crimes charges for "intentional attacks" against civilians.
The prosecutor stated that he is also seeking five counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, inhumane acts, rape, and torture, and nine war crimes charges against Mudacumura, who is the military commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia.
"We are pretty confident in our evidence," Moreno-Ocampo told reporters at a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York.
He went on to say that the ICC was taking the action in order to bring "peace and security" to Africa’s Great Lakes region.
Meanwhile, on Monday fierce fighting continued in the eastern Congo, where the rebels, who are mostly defectors from the Congolese Army, are led by Ntaganda.
More than 10,000 people have fled to Rwanda and Uganda over the past few days.
Led by Ntaganda, hundreds of former members of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) rebelled against Kinshasa last month in protest over mistreatment in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC).
The CNDP was a rebel militia group that split from the FARDC. In 2009, a peace treaty was signed by the rebels and the Congolese government, which integrated the CNDP into the FARDC.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on for over a decade and left over 5.5 million people dead.