The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo filed a complaint on Tuesday at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, against the Rwandan army-M23 coalition for crimes committed in the east of the country.
"The DRC is deeply concerned by the serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed and perpetuated against the civilian population, as well as the systematic and large-scale plundering of its natural resources by agents of the RDF-M23 coalition (Rwanda Defense Forces and March 23 Movement), mainly in the eastern part of its territory," said the Minister of State in charge of Justice, Rose Mutombo, when the complaint was filed atthe office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
There is already a continuing ICC investigation into eastern DRC sie 2004 and it is unclear if the new referral would shift the court’s focus.
The referral’s goal would be to investigate and prosecute any person involved in human rights violations between 2022 and 2023, it added.
The M23 rebel group launched a new offensive in eastern DRC in March 2022, seizing towns and villages in the area that borders Uganda. The fighting forced more than one million people to flee.
Kinshasa has accused neighbouring Rwanda of backing the M23 but Kigali continues to deny any involvement.