DRC: The Arrest Of Ngudjolo Chui Is A New Step Forward In The Fight Against Impunity

New York, 7 February 2008 – Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict welcomes the arrest by the International Criminal Court of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, former commander of the Fronts Nationalistes et Intégrationnistes (FNI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is alleged to have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence against girl children.

Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is the third rebel leader from the Ituri District transferred to the Detention Centre of the Court in The Hague. In January 2007 the Court indicted Thomas Lubanga for conscription of children. In October 2007 Germain Katanga was transferred to the ICC detention centre for war crimes. The former rebel commander is accused of having played a key role in the planning and implementation of a massacre in the village Bogoro, attacking civilians and recruiting children under the age of 15.

"Crimes against children during armed conflict are particularly heinous because of their vulnerability" said Ms. Coomaraswamy. “It is heartening when the international community responds strongly and decisively against such crime. The ICC and the Congolese national courts are playing a major role in the fight against impunity for such crimes. ”

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For further information, please contact:

Luca Solimeo, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, UN, New York. Phone: +1 917 367 3563 – E-mail: solimeo@un.org