Did you know?
By Charles Franzen/IMA
The BBC reports that a Lt. Colonel, together with three other officers and five soldiers, has been convicted of mass rape in eastern DR Congo. A mobile court in Baraka found Lt. Col. Kibibi Mutware and the others guilty of crimes against humanity for sending his troops to rape, assault and loot from the population of Fizi in New Year’s Day. Mutware was sentenced to 20 years in jail while those serving under him received sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years.
In a landmark decision, this is the first time a commanding officer has been convicted for rape in eastern DR Congo. The American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative assisted in the prosecution of the soldiers. American Bar Association (ABA) is one of IMA World Health’s partners in the USAID-funded Ushindi Project in South and North Kivu, a $16.5 million, five-year mitigation program to address the effects of sexual and gender-based violence.IMA and ABA work closely with Heal and Panzi hospitals which treat and provide counseling for victims of the military and militiamen engaged in the on-going conflict in eastern DR Congo. The conviction of Lt. Col. Mutware and those under his command will give renewed vigor to Ushindi’s efforts to prosecute soldiers accused of rape and other crimes.