DRC militiamen on trial for raping children

2017-11-10 21:15
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bukavu - Eighteen suspected militiamen, including a provincial lawmaker, went on trial on Friday in Democratic Republic of Congo's chaotic east for kidnapping and raping some 40 girls.

Frederic Batumike and 17 others face charges of "crimes against humanity through rape and murder ... and taking part in an insurrectional movement," Charles Cubaka Cicura, a lawyer representing the victims told AFP.

They are appearing before a military court in Bukavu.

The suspects are accused of being members of the Djeshi ya Yesu militia, or The Army of Jesus in Swahili, which was led by Batumike, said Colonel Roger Wavara.

Batumike was arrested in June last year along with 74 others and accused of "recruiting a witch doctor who advised the militiamen to rape very young girls and thereby gain supernatural protection."

Some 40 girls aged between eight months and 12 years were kidnapped and raped between May 2013 and 2016, Cicura said.

"At least two girls died following these assaults," he said.

Denis Mukwege, a global expert from DRC on treating gang rape victims, had denounced the wave of child kidnappings and rape during that period in the village of Kavumu, near Bukavu.

"How can someone kidnap a child at night and bring her in the bush to rape her?" Mukwege had told AFP in an interview in 2015.

"The condition of the babies who arrive to us like that at the hospital is dramatic. These are things that are completely new."

Armed groups vying for control of the region's vast mineral wealth often use mass rape to terrorise the local population.

Batumike is also suspected of ordering the murder of Congolese rights activist Evariste Kasali, who was killed on March 17 last year, and German national Walter Mueller, a plantation owner who was brutally killed in 2012.

Kinshasa authorities also accuse him of staging several attacks on the police and soldiers in the country's east.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.