World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Life Sentences For 6 Congolese Soldiers

Life Sentences For 6 Congolese Soldiers

In a case that the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been following closely, six soldiers from the national armed forces were given life sentences of hard labour for crimes against humanity after their convictions on charges of mass rape were re-examined and confirmed.

A seventh soldier was acquitted for lack of evidence in the new hearing, in which the head of the human rights division of the UN Organization Mission in DRC (<"">MONUC), Komlan Tchangai, and other human rights defenders took part.

The convicted soldiers from the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) were based at Songo Mboyo. The Military Court of Equateur said the Tribunal of the Mbandaka Garrison, which initially convicted the soldiers, lacked jurisdiction over Songo Mboyo, which is in the district of Mongala and the territory of Bongadanga, MONUC said.

The Military Court heard the evidence again on the events of December 2003 and convicted the six soldiers anew, then sentenced them under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which the DRC ratified in July 1998.

The Military Court of Equateur province also ruled that the DRC Government, being responsible for the acts of its soldiers against civilians in the Songo Mboyo area in December 2003, must pay $10,000 to each family who lost a member because of the sexual assault, $5,000 to each surviving rape victim and $3,000 to each businessperson who was a victim of the soldiers’ looting.

The legal team for the defendants told the court the soldiers had rebelled against one Captain Ramazani of the Ninth Battalion because they had not been paid their wages.

Meanwhile, the magistrate of a lower court in the Military Garrison of Mbandaka has opened an investigation of Mr. Ramazani and others on suspicion of embezzling Ninth Battalion funds and inciting soldiers to commit acts contrary to military discipline.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news