Armed ViolenceNews

DR Congo Grants Amnesty To 18 Soldiers, 48 Civilians

The beneficiaries were jailed for benign offences which had nothing to do with bloody crimes.

Eighteen soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo armed forces, FARDC, and 48 civilians have been freed from the Bunia central prison after benefitting from a presidential pardon.

Among the freed civilians were two women and one man who had spent seven years in prison. The Vice Governor of Ituri province presided over the ceremony, setting the prisoners free. The Divisional Police Commissioner, Alonga Bony Benjamin, called on the beneficiaries of the presidential amnesty to be wise in avoiding returning to prison. They were freed on Thursday, Sept. 9.

Colonel Camille Nzonzi, Director of the Bunia Central Prison said  the freed prisoners were jailed for benign offences which had nothing to do with bloody crimes.

“The president of the DR Congo has signed an ordinance since June 30 this year granting collective amnesty concerning all prisons in the republic,” Nzonzi said.

“And as we are managers, we are the first to execute this ordinance. In all, 66 prisoners who were selected for this amnesty, among them 18 of the military jurisdiction and 48 others of the civilian jurisdiction among them two women have benefitted.” 

Joseph Makelele, the Military Auditor, in underlining the category of beneficiaries of the presidential pardon declared: “Those who are not beneficiaries of this pardon are authors of armed robbery, embezzlers of public funds, perpetrators of sexual violence and those associated with hardened criminals.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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