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Rwanda backs DR Congo rebel transfer to trial: Kagame

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said Thursday all support would be given to ensure the swift extradition of Democratic Republic of Congo warlord Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court.

Ntaganda, who turned himself in at the US embassy in Rwanda on Monday, is expected to be transferred for trial at The Hague-based ICC within days.

"We will work to make what the US Embassy needs in relation to Bosco Ntaganda's case happen as fast as possible," Kagame said in a statement.

Ntaganda, dubbed 'The Terminator', surprised US embassy staff when he walked in off the street and asked for help in reaching the ICC.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Wednesday he is expected to be transferred within "a couple of days" to face charges of using child soldiers, keeping women as sex slaves and participating in the murder of at least 800 people in eastern DR Congo between 2002 and 2003.

Kagame's comments follow calls by the top US diplomat for Africa, Johnnie Carson, for Rwanda to allow Ntaganda free passage to the airport in Kigali on his way to trial "without interference".

Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said that Ntaganda "voluntarily walked in" to the embassy, but had no clear answer as to why he chose a United States diplomatic mission for his surrender.

"I suspect that he may have come because he knows that we are a symbol of fairness and justice and integrity in this kind of process... but I don't know and can't read his mind," he added.

Kagame, who is in Mexico, said he also welcomed the appointment this week of former Irish president Mary Robinson as UN special envoy to Africa's troubled Great Lakes region.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130321/rwanda-backs-dr-congo-rebel-transfer-trial-kagame