There is a saying that knowing when it is over is the beginning of a new life and the end of an old one. True to this saying, Congolese war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda must have known that his life as a warlord was over, and that it was time now for him to re-examine himself and decide what he wanted to withdraw from – and what he wanted to reach for – when he surrendered to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Ntaganda’s new life in the Netherlands was announced Friday by Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs minister, Louise Mushikiwabo. The minister tweeted: “Bosco Ntaganda has just taken off from Kigali in custody of ICC officials following cooperation between Rwanda (and the) US & Dutch governments.”
The 39-year-old, who is accused of a series of crimes, including rape, recruitment of child soldiers and civilian massacres in neighbouring DRC, was flown out of Rwanda five days after handing himself in to the US embassy in Kigali. The alleged crimes were committed in Ituri, DRC, between 2002 and 2003.
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, said of Ntaganda’s transfer to The Hague in a statement, “…an important moment for all who believe in justice and accountability.”
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said: “This is a good day for victims in the DRC and for international justice. Today, those who are alleged to have long suffered at the hands of Bosco Ntaganda can look forward to the future and the prospect of justice taking its course.”
Rwanda’s economy grows by 8 per cent
Away from Ntaganda, Rwanda celebrated a milestone this week. Our economy braved uncertainties presented by aid cuts and the weak global economy to grow by eight per cent last year, exceeding the earlier projected target of 7.7 per cent.
According to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, the growth was boosted by the booming services sector that grew 12 per cent and contributed 45 per cent of the GDP; agriculture, which added 33 per cent to the GDP; and the industrial sector, which grew by seven per cent. Overall, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices was estimated at Rwf4,363 billion in 2012, up from Rwf3,814 billion the previous year.
Well, like finance minister Amb. Claver Gatete put it, this shows that our economy is resilient.