Congolese ex-warlord 'Sheka' sentenced to life in prison

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A former militia leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been sentenced to life in prison for war crimes and mass rape, a decision hailed by the United Nations as a blow against the "impunity" of armed groups in the country.

Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka was convicted of "murder, rape, sexual slavery, enlisting children under 15 years old" a decade ago, a military court ruled.

Sheka was one of the leaders of a militia group called Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC), which operated in the restive eastern province of North Kivu.

Dozens of armed groups are still operating in eastern Congo decades after the end of a 1998-2003 war that claimed millions of lives.

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