Rebel leader Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka surrenders to UN

According to the UN mission in Congo the founder and leader of a Democratic Republic of Congo rebel group who is wanted for crimes against humanity has surrendered.

Rebel leader, Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka who has been wanted for mass rape and killings since 2011 under a national warrant has surrendered to UN forces and will stand trial.

The rebel leader surrendered to UN forces in the country’s North Kivu region on Wednesday.

Sheka handed himself in “in full awareness of the fact that he is wanted by the government … to stand trial for alleged crimes”, the mission said.

Sheka’s reason for surrender is still unclear but his forces have been locked in a losing fight in recent years with a rival armed group.

According to the UN, Sheka’s forces and two other armed groups are responsible for the rape of at least 387 women between July 30 and August 2, 2010.

His soldiers are also accused of razing almost 1,000 homes and businesses and taking about 100 people off into forced labour.

The UN mission said it would give support to Congo authorities in pursuing criminal prosecutions for human rights violations.

The mission also said it has a standing agreement with the government to ensure that those handed over to national authorities are treated in accordance with all relevant human rights standards.

Meanwhile speaking on Sheka’s surrender, Human Rights Watch’s Central Africa director, Ida Sawyer said the surrender brings hope for justice and a reprieve from violence.

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