During the 1998-2002 war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Roger Lumbala was accused of various acts.
The detention of the former leader of a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo for “complicity in crimes against humanity.” has been confirmed by French anti-terror prosecutors. Roger Lumbala, 62, is a former opposition deputy who headed the RCD-N faction, an armed group alleged by the United Nations. During the country’s 1998-2002 civil war, investigators carried out extrajudicial executions, rapes and cannibalism. The charges relate to his actions in the northeastern Ituri region in 2002, primarily against the ethnic groups of Nande and Twa, prosecutors told AFP. A United Nations study published in 2003 first pointed a finger at Lumbala, who between 2004 and 2005 became a minister in the interim government of his country.
Last week, after a police inquiry initiated in December 2016, Lumbala, who denies the charges, was arrested. The French judiciary has the power to detain and prosecute suspects in cases of crimes against humanity committed abroad. Lumbala had his mandate as a lawmaker invalidated in January 2013 for repeated absences following a failed presidential bid in the 2006 election, reportedly because The authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo accused him of ‘high treason’ and collusion with the M23 rebels, who were defeated in November 2013 following an offensive by the United Nations and government forces. However, in 2017, after an agreement to end the political crisis in the vast African nation, he was allowed to return home, one of the few defendants whose freedom or return from exile was decided upon.