Human RightsNews

Military Court Sentences 2 Soldiers For Torturing Miners In DR Congo

The soldiers, whose names were not published, tortured the DR Congo miners under the instruction of some Chinese miners.

Two soldiers of the national army of the Democratic Republic of Congo known as FARDC have been jailed for torturing two artisanal miners in the mining town of Kolwezi, chief town of the province of Lualaba.

The sentence by a military tribunal was passed on the soldiers Friday, Jul 23, 2021.

One of the soldiers is an adjutant and the other an ordinary soldier. They were sentenced to two years and 18 months respectively. Their names were not made public.

The military tribunal also ordered the arrest of three Chinese nationals who had illegally entered the Commus mining concession and ordered the soldiers to torture the two miners.

According to the military prosecutor of Kolwezi, Jeff Nganama, the Chinese have already been apprehended and are currently being held at the high court awaiting trial.

The soldiers were arrested following the publication of a video on social media showing two Congolese civilians being beaten by three soldiers in a mining site in Kolwezi. 

The soldiers said they were ordered to beat the Congolese civilians by the Chinese concessionaires of the mining site.

On watching the videos, Fifi Masuka Saini, a senior administrative official decided that the perpetrators of the brutality on fellow citizens be brought before the law to answer for their actions.

“In my capacity as a mother, I was very shocked to see my compatriots being treated in such an inhuman way. I have already contacted the relevant judiciary instances and I will closely follow the dossier. A flagrante delicto (on-the-spot investigation) process has to be opened on this dossier,” the official declared.

Similar acts have intensified in several mining sites in Lualaba, a mining province situated in former Katanga.

Artisanal miners no longer have access to sites for artisanal exploitation and are now forced to be content with illegally entering the sites already under exploitation by industrial miners

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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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