Twelve rangers were among 17 people killed in an attack by gunmen within Virunga National Park, the critical highland gorilla preserve on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Park administrators said rangers came under “a ferociously violent and sustained ambush” as they were coming to the aid of a civilian vehicle being waylaid by armed men outside a village. The gunmen are believed to belong to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), one of several armed factions that have for years been using the park as a staging ground, and are linked to poaching and illegal logging operations. (Photo: Virunga National Park)
The government of Rwanda, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the African Union signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a transit mechanism for evacuating refugees out of Libya. According to a joint statement, around 4,700 are currently being held in detention centers in Libya and urgently need to be transferred to safety. Under the agreement, refugees and asylum-seekers currently being held in Libya will be transferred to Rwanda on a “voluntary” basis. Evacuees will then either be resettled to third countries, be returned to countries where asylum had previously been granted, be returned to their home countries if it is safe to do so, or be given permission to remain in Rwanda subject to agreement by the competent authorities. (Photo: Alessio Romenz/UNICEF)
The Democratic Republic of Congo recruited former M23 rebel fighters to protect President Joseph Kabila after protests broke out last December over his refusal to step down at the end of his constitutionally mandated two terms, Human Rights Watch reports. During the protests, at least 62 people were killed and hundreds arrested. The crisis de-escalated when Kabila agreed to hold elections by the end of 2017, and not run again. But the elections were never held, and have now been scheduled for the end of 2018—prompting renewed protests.
Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, a wanted militia leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, turned himself in to UN peacekeeping forces after six years on the run. He will be transferred to DRC authorities to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Sheka is a former commander of the Mai-Mai, a paramilitary network established by the DRC government to fight Rwanda's proxy forces in the 1990s.
The International Criminal Court declared unanimously that Congolese ex-military leader Jean-Pierre Bemba is guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda formally closed after issuing 45 judgments, with 61 sentenced to terms of up to life imprisonment for involvement in the 1994 genocide.
Rwandans approved a referendum potentially allowing President Paul Kagame to stay in power for another 17 years—drawing protests from the US State Department.
The trial of former Congolese rebel leader Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda began at The Hague—the first defendant to surrender to the International Criminal Court.
A French court opened trial against former Rwandan intelligence chief Pascal Simbikangwa in the country's first trial of a suspect in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
Following defeat of the M23 rebels in the war-torn east, the DRC is touting an imminent mineral boom in southern Katanga—despite a spreading separatist insurgency.
New York area Congolese protested a panel on Syria that Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel shared with Rwandan President Paul Kagame—who they accuse of massive war crimes.
The DRC charges that Rwanda's government used its M23 proxy rebel force to shell its own territory—as a provocation to justify a direct military intervention in eastern Congo.