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World DR Congo ex-warlord gets life term for war crimes

21:45  23 november  2020
21:45  23 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Former Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba is found guilty of war crimes in a landmark trial at Many Congolese suspects have been accused of such crimes , but this is the first guilty verdict. 2006: Loses run-off election to President Joseph Kabila but gets most votes in western DR Congo

Congolese ex -rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has been jailed for 18 years following a landmark conviction at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and sexual violence. Bemba, a former vice-president of DR Congo , was convicted in March of crimes committed in the neighbouring

A former militia leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo was sentenced Monday 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.

a group of people walking down a dirt road: Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, pictured in 2011, founded the Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) militia active in DR Congo's restive North Kivu province © STR Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, pictured in 2011, founded the Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) militia active in DR Congo's restive North Kivu province

Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka was convicted of "murder, rape, sexual slavery and enlisting children under 15 years old", a military court ruled at the end of a trial that lasted two years.

The decision was hailed by NGOs, and the UN representative in DR Congo, Leila Zerrougui, said the ruling showed that "impunity is not inevitable".

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Kinshasa (AFP) - Former Congolese warlord Germain Katanga, a convicted war criminal , was back before a top military court in his home country Friday as his trial on fresh charges of war crimes and insurrection resumed.

Congolese former rebel Bosco Ntaganda has gone on hunger strike and is refusing to appear at his international war crimes trial in protest against his detention conditions, judges were told on Tuesday. Ntaganda has also instructed his defence team to stop acting on his behalf at his trial which opened.

Sheka founded the Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) militia, active in DR Congo's restive North Kivu province, where he claimed to be fighting the Rwandan Hutu rebels of the FDLR.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in January 2011 after a series of attacks in which the NDC and two other groups allegedly raped nearly 400 people in 13 villages between July 30 and August 2, 2010.

The NDC was also accused of having recruited at least 154 children into its ranks.

His soldiers were blamed for razing almost 1,000 homes and businesses and leading about 100 people off into forced labour.

Due to the rape accusations and other acts that could constitute crimes against humanity, Sheka had been subject to UN sanctions including the freezing of his assets and a worldwide travel ban.

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DRC warlord Bosco Ntaganda gets 30 years for war crimes . Militia leader guilty on murder and rape charges, and receives International Criminal Court’s first sexual slavery DRC’s Jean-Pierre Bemba already serving 18-year term for war crimes , with new 12-month sentence to run consecutively.

The ex -rebel leader had a war crimes conviction by the International Criminal Court overturned in Correspondents say he has a loyal base in DR Congo and an invalidation of his candidacy could This year's election is meant to choose a successor to Mr Kabila, whose second and final term in 2006: Loses run-off election to President Joseph Kabila but gets most votes in western DR Congo

He turned himself in to UN peacekeepers in July 2017 and was prosecuted along with three co-defendants.

One of his co-accused was also sentenced to life in prison on Monday, another to 15 years in prison and the last was acquitted, according to the verdict of the North Kivu Operational Military Court.

"We are satisfied with this verdict, it is a strong signal to other warlords," Kahindo Fatuma, a spokesman representing the victims, told AFP. "The victims will be a little bit relieved."

Sheka's conviction "is an important step in the fight against impunity and a testament to all those who took personal risks in the pursuit of justice," said Thomas Fessy, senior Congo researcher at Human Rights Watch.

is an important step in the fight against impunity and a testament to all those who took personal risks in the pursuit of justice."

- 'Incredibly complex' -

"The authorities have proven today that they are capable of handling an incredibly complex case, both legally and from a security point of view," Daniele Perissi, head of the Great Lakes Program of the NGO TRIAL International, said in a statement.

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The ex - warlord was convicted on 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. The trial began nine years after the International Criminal Court called for his arrest. Bosco Ntaganda, known as the " Congolese Terminator," has been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against

In tonight's edition: Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda is convicted of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. and only Eritrea is left as the hold out on the African Free Trade area after Nigeria and Benin join the ranks as the worlds largest free trade

Dozens of armed groups are active in eastern DR Congo, a lawless region rich in mineral resources. They have wrought havoc there in the decades since the official end of a 1998-2003 war, which claimed millions of lives.

The NDC still exists under the name NDC-Renovated, or NDC/R.

Last July, a faction of the NDC/R overthrew its leader, Guidon Shimiray Mwissa, accusing him of "serious violations".

The new leaders of the movement also affirmed their willingness to "surrender their weapons".

Over eight months, around 1,300 people were killed in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, according to a UN estimate in June.

The ADF, among the most notorious of the armed groups plaguing the eastern provinces, is accused of killing more than 800 civilians in the Beni region since October 2019.

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Nine killed in DR Congo's Ituri after weeks of calm .
Nine women and children have been killed in northeastern DR Congo after weeks of relative calm following peace negotiations with a notorious armed group, sources said Tuesday. Five women and four children were killed in Ituri province's Djugu territory on Monday night, local civil society head Jules Tsuba told AFP, while the UN radio station Okapi put the death toll as three women and six children. Three other women were seriously injured and taken to hospital by Bangladeshi troops in the UN peacekeeping force, the sources said.

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