The Democratic Republic of Congo has asked the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged crimes in the country’s North Kivu province committed since the beginning of last year.
A statement from the prosecutor, Karim Khan, says that his office has been asked to “investigate particular armed forces and groups” behind alleged crimes.
No specific names were mentioned, but the DR Congo government has in the past said that Rwanda was backing the M23 rebel group, which has been accused of carrying out atrocities. Rwanda has consistently denied the accusation.
In a recent report, New York-based Human Rights Watch said that the M23 had “committed summary executions and forced recruitment of civilians”, but added that the Congolese army was “collaborating with ethnic militias with abusive records”.
The conflict in North Kivu has led to hundreds of thousands being forced from their homes.