Court jails DRC army officers for rape

2011-03-10 17:59

kalahari.com

Kinshasa - A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has jailed three army officers, including a lieutenant colonel, for 15 years for rape, a senior court source said on Thursday.

The court martial, sitting on Wednesday in Kalehe, 100km north of its eastern base in Bukavu, also gave life sentences to eight other soldiers who are on the run.

The 11 men were on trial for raping about 20 women, as well as other acts of violence and looting committed at the end of September 2009 at Katasomwa, near Kalehe.

Those tried in their absence were captains and lieutenants, while the lieutenant colonel, commander of a military unit, a major and a captain appeared in court.

"The soldiers fanned out into the town to carry out atrocities after one of their own was killed by a civilian," Colonel Freddy Mukendi, president of the Bukavu court martial, told AFP. "The lieutenant colonel was not himself accused of rape, but he was there as a spectator, approving, and did nothing to stop it as commander."

Most of the accused, including the lieutenant colonel, were former rebels or members of local militias, who had been integrated into the DRC's army as part of peace plans for the vast country after two devastating wars ended in 2003.

The verdict "sends a strong signal to all perpetrators of acts of sexual violence that no military commander is beyond the law, including members of a national army", said Margot Wallstroem, the special representative of the UN secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict.

"It is now crucial that the victims of and witnesses to instances of sexual violence are protected, as well as their families," she added.

The UN agencies and human rights bodies have reported and condemned thousands of cases of rape notably in the eastern Kivu provinces of DRC, which are still prey to unrest. Rapes have been blamed on troops of the national army as well as the rebel movements and militias active in the region.

On February 21, nine soldiers, including a lieutenant colonel, were jailed by the same court for the rape of about 60 women carried out at the beginning of January. They were given prison sentences ranging between 10 and 20 years.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.