• World - Africa
  • Updated: December 27, 2022

DR Congo: Soldiers Sentenced To Death For Killing Chinese Nationals

DR Congo: Soldiers Sentenced To Death For Killing Chinese Na

Congolese soldiers near Tcheyi village in Ituri province.

Eight Congolese soldiers and a civilian were sentenced to death, on appeal, by a military court in Ituri province in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, judicial sources said on Tuesday.

Two of the eight were colonels of the highest rank.

The prosecution successfully argued that the two colonels planned and executed an attack on a convoy carrying Chinese employees in Irumu territory, Ituri, to seize four gold bars and 5,600 euros from the victims.

On March 17, 2022, a caravan returning from a gold mining location was assaulted in Nderemi village.

Two Chinese citizens were killed, and their civilian driver was seriously injured.

Colonels Mukalenga Tsendeko and Kayumba Sumahili, like the others, were found guilty of "murder and criminal association" in Bunia, the capital of Ituri province, according to the verdict.

The death penalty is often imposed in the DRC, although it is routinely commuted to life imprisonment.

Out of three other soldiers, two of whom were sentenced to ten years in jail in the first instance, were acquitted due to a lack of evidence.

Separately, Lieutenant Colonel Marcel Kaligamire and two Congolese soldiers were condemned to the "death penalty" by the DRC's highest military court for "misappropriating combat ammunition earmarked for military operations."

Four other soldiers and three civilians charged in the case and condemned to death in the first instance had their sentences reduced to ten years in jail. Two citizens received five-year jail sentences.

According to the prosecution, the diverted ammunition was sold to the armed group the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO).

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