Two More Soldiers Sentenced to Death in Congo for Fleeing Battle in North Kivu

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BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 5 (Reuters) – A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has sentenced two more soldiers to death for desertion during battles in conflict-ridden North Kivu province.

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The Congolese army has been engaged in a prolonged fight against the Rwanda-backed M23 insurgency and other militias in the eastern borderlands. The rebels captured the strategic commune of Kanyabayonga last week.

This ruling follows the sentencing of 25 soldiers to death on Thursday, reflecting the government’s stance against desertions, which have weakened Congo’s position in the conflict.

“This trial serves a dissuasive and educational purpose, showing soldiers that fleeing the battle lines does not protect them but exposes them to severe sanctions,” state magistrate Kahambu Muhasa Melissa told Reuters.

One of the sentenced soldiers, Kakule Mupasula Raphael, was found guilty of desertion and murdering an officer’s child after abandoning the front line in Kanyabayonga. He pleaded not guilty, denying the murder and stating that many soldiers, including commanders, had fled. He plans to appeal the sentence.

The second soldier admitted to firing shots at an ambulance whose driver refused to evacuate him from the battlefield. He pleaded guilty and requested leniency.

Congo lifted a 20-year moratorium on the death penalty in February for crimes including desertion and treason. Amnesty International has criticized this move, warning that it puts many innocent people at risk of execution due to the country’s inefficient justice system.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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