• World - Africa
  • Updated: October 03, 2023

DR Congo: Military Court Issues Jail, Death Sentences Over Protesters' Killings

DR Congo: Military Court Issues Jail, Death Sentences Over P

In connection with the August massacre of more than 50 protesters in the eastern city of Goma, a military court on Monday sentenced a DR Congo army officer to death and gave 10-year prison terms to three other defendants.

While two other defendants who were on trial were found not guilty, the defendant's attorneys have stated they will appeal the ruling.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the death penalty is frequently imposed, but it has not been carried out in 20 years and is routinely commuted to life in prison.

A senior public prosecutor had asked for life imprisonment rather than the death penalty for the principal defendant, Colonel Mike Mikombe, during Friday's concluding remarks.

Although charges of crimes against humanity were withdrawn, the court nonetheless gave Mikombe the death penalty and a charge of "murders".

The five other suspects were also urged to get terms ranging from 10 to 20 years, according to the prosecutor.

Since September 5, the six soldiers have been on trial for the brutal crackdown on a sect of religion that called for protests against the United Nations' presence in the area.

According to the most recent official count, the crackdown claimed 57 lives and has rekindled tensions in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, an area rife with armed group conflict.

During the army raid on August 30, more than 140 civilians were also detained, including about 30 minors.

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