Congo. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Congo gained the most attention during the year
for the rapes committed by militia soldiers in the eastern
provinces. About 500 women, girls, toddlers and boys were
raped in July and August in 13 villages in the Walika region
of the Northern Kivu province. As perpetrators, members of a
local Mai Mai militia, the Rwandan hutumilis FDLR (Rwanda
Democratic Forces Liberation), and supporters of an army
deserter were identified. The main focus of the world on the
crimes was Margot Wallström, responsible within the UN for
coordinating work on sexual violence in connection with
armed conflicts. It was later reported that army soldiers
had also abused women in the same region.
In October, Indian UN soldiers seized the leader of the
designated Mai Mai movement. In France, Callixte
Mbarushimana, high ranking leader of the FDLR, was indicted
by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on
eleven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. He
was held responsible for a wide range of civilian abuse in
the Kivu region and, according to a French court decision,
was to be extradited to the ICC.
At the ICC in November, the trial of Congo's former Vice
President Jean-Pierre Bemba began. He is charged with five
counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the
abuses committed by members of his militia's MLC (Congo
Liberation Movement) against civilians in the Central
African Republic in 2002–03.
In Kinshasa, eight police officers were indicted for the
murder of one of the country's best known human rights
activists, Floribert Chebeya. He was found dead in his car,
strapped to the back seat, the day after he had been called
to the police headquarters. His driver had disappeared and
was not found. Chief of Police John Numbi, whom Chebeya
should have met, was suspended from his post but was not
prosecuted, as the court did not have the power to prosecute
a chief at that level.
In May, eleven militiamen were sentenced to death for a
revolt in the city of Mbandaka in the northwest province of
Equateur. Two UN officials were killed during the revolt,
triggered by a local dispute over fishing rights.
The two Norwegian former mercenaries who were sentenced
to death in 2009 in the city of Kisangani for the murder of
their driver received a new trial, after a court found that
formal wrongdoing had been committed by the military
tribunal they were investigating. But when the trial was
resumed with new judges, the ruling became a new death
sentence. They decided not to appeal. Since 2001, death
sentences in Congo have been converted to life imprisonment.
The Norwegians hope is that the Norwegian state will be able
to work out that they can serve the punishment in their home
Nineteen donor countries in the so-called Paris Club as
well as Brazil agreed to write off the entire Congo debt to
them of US $ 7.35 billion as part of the United Nations
Relief Program for particularly troubled countries. As a
result, the country was freed from more than half its total
Earlier in the year, the UN was notified that Ukraine had
signed a contract for the sale of arms and ammunition to the
Congo at a stated value of approximately US $ 80 million.