Court send Congolese national to Luzira over rape

By Sania Babirye

A Congolese refugee living in Uganda has been sentenced to twenty three years in Luzira prison over rape.

Kampala high High Court judge Jane Francis Abodo sentenced 31 year old Mbusa Kamuhinda after she found him guilty of raping the victim whose name has been withheld in August 2017 at Bukoto in Nakawa division Kampala district .

While sentencing him, Justice Jane Francis Abodo ruled that women must be protected from such criminals by giving such convicts custodial long sentences.

She also stated that such rape cases are rampant in her court jurisdiction and there is need for court to hand the convicts deterrent sentences to other would be offenders.

In conclusion Justice Abodo stated that sexual violence against women should not be tolerated and courts of law need to act by keeping away such criminals from their victims and from the country at large .

Unidentified attackers break into Congo jail and free 900 inmates

The governor of North Kivu province said the attackers had used heavy weapons in the raid on the jail in Beni.

At least eight of the dead are prison guards, Julien Paluku added. A curfew has been declared.

The identity of the attackers is not yet clear.

Local activist Teddy Kataliko said many self-defence militias, known as Mai-Mai groups, operated around Beni.

DR Congo has been in crisis since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down after his term ended last year.

The incident in Beni is the latest in a series of jailbreaks in the country.

Last month about 4,000 inmates escaped from a high security prison in the capital Kinshasa following an attack blamed on a separatist sect.


-BBC Africa

ICC extends Congolese Bemba’s time in prison over false evidence

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has sentenced the former Congolese Vice-President, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, to another year in prison and about USD 325,000 (1.2 billion Shillings) in fines for interfering with his trial.

Judges ordered the that the sentence be served consecutively to Bemba’s existing 18 year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic between October 2002 and March 2003. In their ruling, the judges ordered the fine to be paid within three months to the ICC and then transferred to the Trust Fund for Victims.

Bemba, along with four other people, was found guilty for intentionally and corruptly influencing 14 defence witnesses, and presenting their false evidence to the court.”  Bemba was also found guilty of soliciting the giving of false testimony by the 14 defence witnesses and attempting to corruptly influence two defence witnesses.

These charges were in addition to the main ruling issued in March 2016, in which the ICC found Bemba guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a devastating campaign of rape, murder and torture in the Central African Republic.

The alleged acts took place between October 2002 and March 2003 when Bemba’s rebels operating as the ‘Mouvement de Libération du Congo’ (the Movement for the Liberation of Congo) helped to put down a coup against Ange-Felix Patasse, the former president of the Central African Republic.

It was the first time the court applied the principle of command or superior responsibility to convict someone, who was far from the battleground while his militia committed its crimes. Bemba was a person effectively acting as a military commander with effective authority and control over the forces that committed the crimes.

Court heard that Bemba’s men were involved in the gang rape of women and girls as young as 10, forced sons to rape their mothers in front of their fathers, raped wives in front of their husbands, and children in front of their parents. The judges found that he was culpable for having “failed to prevent” the crimes committed by his subordinates, and for doing nothing to punish the offenses.

Bemba is already serving 16 years for murder as a war crime, 16 years for murder as a crime against humanity, 18 years for rape as a war crime, 18 years of imprisonment for rape as a crime against humanity and 16 years for pillaging as a war crime.

Drunk Congolese soldiers shoot several people to death, leave scores injured

17 people have died and several others are missing following sporadic shooting by drunken Congolese government troops in Beni town in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The victims drowned in water trenches as they tried to flee fearing a rebel attack. Most of the dead include children and women. Paul Kapitula, the Chairperson of Civil Societies in Beni, says the drunken soldiers were dressed in plain clothes when they started shooting in the air prompting residents to flee in panic in fear of an attack by suspected Allied Democratic Force-ADF rebels.

He says the shooting occurred during a heavy down pour, which made residents think the rebels had taken advantage of the rain to trap them in their houses. According to Kapitula, 10 children are still missing. Nyonyi Bwanaka, the Mayor Beni, says all those behind the shooting were picked up.

Bwanaka urges residents who fled to Mangina and Butembo areas to return, saying the situation is under control. Colonel Olivier Hamuli, the North Kivu Province Army Spokesperson, says they are investigating the motive of the shooting by the soldiers.



Ugandan police to recieve bodies of dead police men from Congo today

By Moses Kindandi
The Government will conduct a special post mortem today on the remains of the four UPDF officers gunned down in Kibale district to establish the exact cause of death.
The bodies will be transported from Bunia in eastern DRC  then will be flown to Kampala by the police.
The four police officers were gunned down under unknown circumstances  by Congolese Government forces on Saturday as they patrolled Lake Albert with in the Ugandan territory at Kitebele in Kibale district .
The deceased include Waiswa Farouk,Obara Bilal,Ochen Moses,Isingoma Bernard all whose remains are still being held at Bunia Hospital Moutuary in Ituri province.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says the remains are being handed over to the delegation of senior Uganda police officers who are in DRC.
The chief of defense forces Katumba wamala says its too early to determine the motive of the DRC soldiers who killed the policemen since there is no conflict with DRC .