Ex-VP of Congo arrested on war crime charges
An ex-rebel leader who served as a vice president of Congo was arrested near Brussels, Belgium on Saturday on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to International Criminal Court.
The independent high court -- based in The Hague, Netherlands -- issued an arrest warrant on Friday for Jean-Pierre Bemba.
The court alleges that between October 2002 and March 2003, Bemba's rebel group carried out a widespread attack against civilians using torture, rape, pillaging and "outrages upon personal dignity," according to an ICC statement.
Bemba, head of the rebellious Movement for the Liberation of Congo, was one of four vice presidents in the transitional government of the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2003 to 2006.
He was involved in a power-sharing government created in 2002, which allowed members from four rebel groups to fill each of the four vice presidential seats.
The agreement was supposed to resolve a conflict that sucked in the armies of six nations, split the vast country into rebel- and government-held regions and killed an estimated 2.5 million people, mainly through disease and hunger.
War broke out in Congo in August 1998 when Rwanda and Uganda backed Congolese rebels seeking to oust Congo President Laurent Kabila, accusing him of supporting groups, including the Hutu militia, which threatened their security. Kabila was assassinated three years later.