Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Ex-militiamen get life for murdering UN soldiers

Previous article | Next


Photo: IRIN
A MONUC in convoy in northeastern DRC
BUNIA, 21 February 2007 (IRIN) - A military tribunal in Ituri District, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, has sentenced five former militiamen to life imprisonment for killing two United Nations military observers in 2003.

"This sends a very strong message: the reign of impunity is coming to an end," Kemal Saiki, the spokesman for the UN Mission in the DRC, MONUC, said on Tuesday from Kinshasa, the capital.

The five, Uzele Ubemu, Jules Acida, Ufoyuru Agenong'a, Eric Ndjango and Aingani Aikoe, were members of Fronts des nationalistes intégrationnistes (FNI), an armed group active in Ituri. They were convicted of murdering Maj Saswat Oran of Jordan and Capt David Banda of Malawi on 13 May 2003 in Mongbwalu, a mining town 80km north of Bunia, the main town in Ituri.

The five were also convicted of crimes of war; killing and destroying UN equipment and, in addition, each convict must pay a fine of 53,000 Congolese francs (about US$100).

"Uzele Ubemu first shot the Malawian captain, David Banda, as he went into a helicopter, preventing him from making a radio call," Maj Innocent Mayembe, the judge and chairman of the tribunal, said.

The tribunal also sentenced Kashala Kabongo, who had been jointly tried with the five, to 20 years of hard labour. The court acquitted a seventh accused, Bakovi Aingui.

In another ruling, the court sentenced Capt François Molessa, alias Bozize, and 10 other soldiers to life imprisonment for killing 30 people in the village of Bavi, 32km south of Bunia, in August and September 2006. They were also dismissed from the army.

On 22 November 2006, military investigators from the tribunal and the UN's Human Rights Division in the Congo visited the Bavi army camp where they discovered three mass graves containing the remains of men and women who had been summarily executed.

"The victims were singled out as the enemy," Mayembe said. "The men were struck with iron rods and died."

The tribunal also ordered the convicts to pay compensation of between $5,000 and $20,000 to the families of the victims, depending on the individual soldier's worth.

However, a lawyer for the victims, Christian Lukusha, said: "We are relieved to see that the court has acknowledged the rights of the victims but it is too small an amount. We are asking the court to raise the compensation by $50,000."

rp/oss/lo/mw


Related articles


  1. At least 30 dead after massacres in Ituri (March 2, 2018)
  2. ICC Confirms 14-Year Sentence Against Thomas Lubanga (December 1, 2014)
  3. ICC sentences Germain Katanga to 12 years (May 23, 2014)
  4. ICC finds Germain Katanga guilty of war crimes and crime against humanity (March 7, 2014)
  5. Bosco Ntaganda Attacked Civilians on Ethnic Grounds, ICC Prosecutor Says (February 10, 2014)
  6. Rebel Leader Bosco Ntaganda Makes First Appearence Before the ICC (March 26, 2013)
  7. Bosco Ntaganda in the International Criminal Court's custody (March 22, 2013)
  8. International Criminal Court Acquits Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (December 18, 2012)
  9. Thousands of Women March Against M23 Rebels in Kinshasa (November 24, 2012)
  10. ICC Prosecutor Seeks 30 Years for Thomas Lubanga (June 13, 2012)
  11. ICC Prosecutor Seeks New Charges Against Ntaganda, FDLR Leader (May 14, 2012)
  12. Kabila's Position on The Arrest of Ntaganda 'Has Not Changed' (April 13, 2012)
  13. DR Congo Government Warns Bosco Ntaganda He May Face Justice (April 6, 2012)
  14. Thomas Lubanga found guilty of using child soldiers (March 14, 2012)
  15. Tshisekedi Says He Won, Can He Prove It? (December 17, 2011)
  16. Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in DR Congo (June 28, 2011)
  17. Rights Groups: Strengthen Civilian Protection Before Elections (June 9, 2011)
  18. Militiamen Sent to Testify in Warlords Trials at ICC (March 28, 2011)
  19. UN Sanctions FDLR Leaders, CNDP Rebel Commander Integrated into Army (December 2, 2010)
  20. UN launches patrols to head off rebel violence during holiday season (December 1, 2010)
  21. Congo Defense Minister Rejects UN Allegations against Army (October 17, 2010)
  22. Thomas Lubanga trial to resume at ICC (October 8, 2010)
  23. Rebel leader presumed responsible for mass rape arrested (October 5, 2010)
  24. UN DR Congo Report Exposes Grave Crimes (October 1, 2010)
  25. UN says peacekeepers 'failed' DR Congo rape victims (September 7, 2010)
  26. UN Defends Inaction on Mass Rapes in Eastern Congo, Government Missing in Action (August 26, 2010)
  27. Two Suspects Arrested in Attack on MONUSCO Base (August 20, 2010)
  28. Ban Ki-moon deplores deadly attack against blue helmets in North Kivu (August 18, 2010)
  29. ICC suspends release of Thomas Lubanga (July 23, 2010)
  30. ICC orders the release of Thomas Lubanga (July 15, 2010)


Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play



Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© 2018 CongoPlanet.com. All rights reserved.