Court Sentences 2 DR Congo Soldiers To Life Imprisonment, 2 Others Bag 20 Years For Rape
The soldiers received life imprisonment sentences for murdering five DR Congo civilians earlier in the year
Two soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo national army have been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and two others sentenced to 20 years in jail for rape in South Kivu.
The sentences were passed Monday, Sept. 13 by the Uvira military tribunal sitting in Minembwe where the offenses were committed, Major Dieudonne Kasereka, army spokesperson in South Kivu revealed.
The two soldiers sentenced to life imprisonment were found guilty of killing five civilians – one man and four women. The man was killed on June 28, 2021 while the women were killed on June 30, 2021. Their defense lawyers have given notice of appeal.
The Mayor of Minembwe at the time and the leader of the civil society in the locality where inter-communal conflicts are commonplace, had accused the soldiers of firing at civilians who were returning from the market.
The army at the time had said the soldiers were not responsible for the crimes, arguing that it was the soldiers who were the victims of the violence in the town where “the enemy has been hiding among the population,” according to the military spokesperson.
The two soldiers jailed for rape were tried for offenses committed on March 31, 2021 in Minembwe.
Conflicts over the control of land and natural resources by those opposing the Banyamulenge who are Congolese of Rwandan origins and other communities in the Upper Plateaux of South Kivu are very rampant.
Major Kasereka announced that a former local administrator, Sebastien Sebakanura had been killed in Minembwe by unidentified individuals who disappeared after the incident.
According to the military spokesperson, Sebakanura was a victim of settlement of scores between members of his community.
Support Our Journalism
There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.
To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.
Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.Donate Here