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Congolese colonel gets life for crimes against humanity
by Staff Writers
Bukavu, Dr Congo (AFP) Dec 15, 2014

A court in Democratic Republic of Congo sentenced a former army colonel to life in prison Monday for crimes against humanity in the country's restive east between 2005 and 2007.

The military court in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province, convicted Lieutenant Colonel Bedi Mobuli Engangela on several counts of crimes against humanity.

The life sentence was for murder.

The 42-year-old defendant also received a 20-year sentence for rape, two 15-year terms for "sexual slavery and "other inhuman actions", such as torture and abduction, and 10 years for "imprisonment and other forms of grave deprivation of physical liberty".

Engangela, who was known as Colonel 106 after the battalion he commanded in South Kivu, was accused of deserting between 2005 and 2007 to lead a militia that attacked several villages.

The militia was accused of gang rapes and other crimes.

Engangela has been in preventive custody since 2007. His name featured on a list of five senior officers accused of serious human rights abuses against whom the UN had asked Congolese authorities to expedite proceedings.

In November, a court in the capital Kinshasa sentenced a former rebel leader turned army general, Jerome Kakwavu, to 10 years in prison for war crimes, including rape, murder and torture.

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