Arrest warrant for DR Congo Assembly candidate unenforced
Summary of story from Human Rights Watch, November 2, 2011
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have yet to enforce an arrest warrant taken out in January on a militia leader who is running as a candidate for the National Assembly elections at the end of this month.
Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, a Mai Mai militia leader, is wanted for crimes against humanity, international rights group Human Rights Watch said today.
Sheka is the leader of a militia that operated in eastern Congo.
The - unenforced – arrest warrant is for mass rape.
Earlier this year the United Nations published a report documenting the rapes of at least 387 civilians – 300 women, 23 men, 55 girls and 9 boys – in four days in July and August 2010, in 13 villages in Walikale territory.
It was one of the largest documented cases of mass rape in eastern Congo in recent years.
The report accused the Mai Mai Sheka of being in a coalition of three armed groups behind the mass rape, and names Ntaberi Sheka as one of the leaders with command responsibility.
In September, Sheka registered as an independent candidate for the National Assembly in the Walikale electoral district.
“Congolese authorities should be arresting Sheka for mass rape whether he is running for office or not,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“The failure to arrest someone who is out publicly campaigning for votes sends a message that even the most egregious crimes will go unpunished.”