Congo issues warrants for former M23 rebel leaders

KINSHASHA, Congo (AP) — A government spokesman says Congo has issued international arrest warrants for four former leaders of the M23 rebel group believed to be in Rwanda.

In a statement published late Friday, Lambert Mende said the warrants for crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and other offenses were transmitted to Kigali Thursday. The statement said Congo was “awaiting with interest” a response from Rwanda, which denies backing the rebel group despite evidence from United Nations experts and rights groups.

M23 formed in eastern Congo last year and briefly captured the city of Goma last November.

The leaders are former M23 president Jean-Marie Runiga and military commanders Baudouin Ngaruye, Eric Badege and Innocent Zimurinda. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said Ngaruye and Zimurinda may be responsible for war crimes.

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